Polska / świętokrzyskie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Sites of martyrdom||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||świętokrzyskie / kieleckie (before 1939)|
|County:||pińczowski / pińczowski (before 1939)|
|Community:||Działoszyce / Działoszyce (before 1939)|
Krzysztof Urbański /
Działoszyce – a city in soutern Poland, in Świętokrzyskie Province, Pińczowo County. It lies by the Nidzica River, 27 km southwest of Pińczów, 72 km southwest of Kielce and 252 km southwest of Warsaw.
Krzysztof Urbański /
Jews first arrived in Działoszyce in the 16th century. A larger influx of Jews was recorded after 1707, following the issuance of a privilege by the town’s owner Jan Stradomski. As Adam Penkalla writes, “In the first half of the 18th century, their community facilities had already become part of the town architecture, including a synagogue complex”.
The first timber synagogue was erected in 1707 and then burned down in 1732. Another was constructed in the second half of the 17th century. It too burned down in 1846. A neoclassiccal, brick synagogue, with a gabledroof was built in 1852. It had very sophisticated architectural and sculptural adornments. Outside the synagogue, a triangular gabled wall contained Hebrew inscriptions. A cheder, library, mikveh and rabbi’s apartment were situated in the building's annexe. A cemetery was established on the road leading towards Skalbmierz.
In 1765, 651 Jews lived in Działoszyce. For the most part, they were involved in trade and craft. By1820, their number had increased to 1,256.
In 1877, the funeral procession of Aleksander Wielopolski passed through Działoszyce. He was Director of the Government Commission for Religious Denominations and Public Enlightenment, which had brought about equal rights for Jews in the Kingdom of Poland. The funeral cortege coming from Dresden stopped in front of the local synagogue.
“A crowd of Jews from all over the area was waiting for the funeral procession. The Rabbi said kaddish for the deceased. Twenty-four singers, who were brought in by the Jewish community council especially for the occasion from Kraków, sang psalms of mourning. Representative of the local community, Dr. Stejermarck, delivered a condolence speech in Polish, and the son of Aleksander Wielopolski, Zygmunt, thanked him on beghalf of the family (...)”. A crowd of Jews then escorted Wielopolski's coffin to Młodzawy, where the governor was buried.
In 1899, of Działoszyce's 5,170 inhabitants, as many as 4,673 were Jews. Six tanneries, three brickworks, two oil mills, two candle factories, a gypsum mine and a tile factory all prospered in the town. Door-to-door trade was dominated by Jews. The town square was a kind of social meeting place where one could gossip,
The town center was a spacious, unpaved square in the form of a trapezoid with several streets coming out of the corners. As the town was equipped with only one well, people drew water from the aforementioned rivers, which were polluted with all the waste people produced.
The name Działoszyce was first mentioned in 1220. In 1409, still holding the status of a nobility property, it was transformed into a private town based on the Magdeburg Law. In 1579, it was inhabited by 174 people, in 1662 by 468. In the 18th century, the first Jews began to settle this area taking advantage of the privilege granted in 1707 by the town owner Jan Stradomski.
Hard times that ensued after the January Uprising did not impede the development of the town: “In Działoszyce, there were stores with Nuremberg products (15), with goods measured at this time by the el or from the elbow down to the fingers (21), and victuals and small objects (43)”. Moreover, there were thirty-eight points where grain was purchased, five points with cattle, six with iron, three with glass, two with building materials, and six with feathers and down. Five stores prospered through selling colonial goods, ten through furs, and five offering ready-made clothes. There were fifty small traders, six innkeepers and two confectioneries.
In July 1878, a funeral procession with corpse of margrave Alexander Wielkopolski stopped in front of the Działoszyce synagogue. The rabbi and the local Jews said kaddish and together with the procession they headed towards Młodzawy.
The year 1894 was tragic for it saw the outbreak of cholera that claimed the lives of 126 people, mostly Jews. When the end of the 1890s was approaching, people wrote: “the town (…) may be proud of the sloppiness that cannot be found anywhere else in Poland. Knee deep in mud, shabby, wet houses stand on malodorous streets, which are tidied up only when the arrival of supervision is expected”. But it was one of the most resilient centers in Ponidzie. There was a confectionery, newspapers were brought, some splendid stores were run, and a number of more outstanding families assumed a “German” way of behavior. In 1900, “Gazeta Kielecka” wrote: “the townspeople engage in various crafts, mainly in cooperating, carpentry, smithery, and shoemaking. Although, low dem
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