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Dobra

Polska / zachodniopomorskie

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Summary

Province:zachodniopomorskie / inne (before 1939)
County:łobeski / nowogardzki (before 1939)
Community:Dobra / Daber (before 1939)
Other names:Dobra Nowogardzka (po 1945 roku)
niem. Daber
 
GPS:
53.5859° N / 15.3099° E
53°35'09" N / 15°18'35" E

Location

Małgorzata Grzenda

The town of Dobra, also called Dobra Nowogrodzka, is located in the Zachodniopomorski Province, currently in Łobecki county. It lies halfway between Nowogard and Chociwel . The Dobrzeniec River flows through the town, and nearby are Lake Dobre with a public beach and Lake Leśne, along whose shores runs the so-called Giants Trail where one can observe elements characteristic of a post-glacial landscape and the changes brought about to this landscape by humans .

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History

Małgorzata Grzenda

Just like in other town in the Pomorze region, Jews appeared in Dobra around the year 1700. The first recorded Jewish name is Marcus Joseph, he however moved to Golczewo (Gülzow) in 1706. In 1712 a tax of 6 talars (Polish currency) was to be paid by Jewish residents in exchange for protection by national authorities. Much information about a Jew named Samuel Loyser who lived in Dobra has been preserved. In the „Report of Jewish Residents living in the region of Pomorze Zaodrzańskie” from 1718 we read that, “Samuel Loyser attempted to receive the same benefits his father-in-law Jacob had received. Most likely his request was not granted.” This information was part of longer report assembled together by Massow, Somnitz and Borck, members of a commission with headquarters in Stargard Szczeciński (Stargard), on April 2, 1718. In addition, testimony by a magistrate of the city from 1720 recalls that „ Samuel Loyser of Dobra was a butcher, he supplied the textile producers with wool, and participated in small trade.” It is possible that Samuel Loyser was also known as Samuel Meyer. A detailed account of this testimony is available in the book. At the beginning of 1723 a meeting of all the representatives of the local Jewish communities of Pomorze took place in Dobra, where they discussed salaries pensions. According to the Jewish calendar this meeting took place on the 27th day of the first month Nisan (the equivalent of March/April) in the year 5438. In 1728 Samuel Loyser paid 16 thalers and 20 cents for his civil liberties, and had two sons and one son-in-law during this time. In the Pomorski Government’s (Pommersche Regierung) report “On Jews,” drawn up on August 10, 1731 in Szczecin (Stettin), under the term “Dobra” we can read that, “the son of Samuel Loyser, Samuel Jacob, paid for protection until the year 1731.” Another report was drawn up on May 2, 1737 at the request of the king from Kołobrzeg. It was authored by a military clerk (German Kriegsrat) and a local commissioner named Neubauer. It lists all Jewish subjects of the king from Pomorze, three of whom lived in Dobra. These were: Levin Benedikt, Jacob Samuel and Loyser Samuel. More detailed information is

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Local history

Małgorzata Grzenda

The first documents to mention the settlment date back to 1257, while Dobra received its city status in 1270. In a papal bull from 1331 Dobra is described as a civitas, a city governed by Lübeck law. Based on such archeological findings as stone tools, bronze ornaments, and the remnants of a fortress built by the first Slavic tribes dating back to the end of the 6th century we can conclude that this area bustled with life hundreds of years earlier, and the now-extinct Lake Doberski protected previous settlers from enemy attacks. Thanks to the city’s coat of arms, which portrays a red griffin in a yellow gate with a blue background, we know that Dobra was a princely city founded by the Pomorze dynasty of the Griffins. In 1325 Dobra and the surrounding area, together with the castle built in the 13th century, were handed over by prince Warcisław IV to Ulryka I von Dewitz as a fief. For the next 470 years the history of this dynasty and the city were closely interwoven, while in its prime years the castle was the strongest and biggest fortress in the Zachodnipomorskie Principality. Beginning in 1808 the von Dewitz family ruled the property, and in 1846 Karol Juliusz Luepcke bought the land. The 16th century saw the most vibrant time of development in Dobra, when, in addition to farming, the residents also began producing pots, textiles and fabrics. However, in the 17th century, in 1647 to be exact, a plague swept the city. As a result, the number of residents fell from over 600 to a mere 48. Beginning in the 20th century manufacturing plants opened, including a dairy, a mill and a water carbonation plant. To this day the city has kept a medieval urban plan, visitors can observe 18th and 19th century houses typical of the biedermeier and the Art Nouveau style with wooden elements. For the past nine years the city has hosted the popular Doberski Fair which promotes tourist attractions in the region. Until 2001 a narrow gauge railway, built in 1895, had connected Dobra with Stargard Szczeciński.

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