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.
The first Jews arrived in Działoszyce in the 16th century. A bigger influx was recorded after the year 1707, and was the result of the privilege given by the town’s owner Jan Stradomski. Adam Penkalla writes: “In the first half of the 18th century, the community facilities were already something common in the town building and formed a synagogue unit”. The first wooden synagogue was erected in 1707 and burnt in 1732; another one constructed in the mid-1700 century was also destroyed by flames in 1846. A brick synagogue in neo-classicistic style and with a gable roof was constructed in 1852. Its architectural and sculptural decoration was sophisticated. Hebrew inscriptions were placed outside on a triangular top. A cheder, library, mikvah and rabbi’s apartment were all situated in an extension annexed to the building. A cemetery was built at the road leading to Skalbmierz.
In 1765, there lived 651 Jews in Działoszyce who dealt largely with trade and craft. In 1820, their number increased to 1,256.
Out of 5,170 inhabitants in 1899, 4,673 were Jews. Industry and trade were the fields of life where Jews showed the most outstanding activity. There were six tanneries, three brickyards, two oil mills, two candle factories, a gypsum and tile factories. Door-to-door trade was entirely in the hands of Jews. The town square was a kind of social meeting place where one could gossip, chatter and share his or her impressions. The nearness of the border with Austria-Hungary created favorable conditions for smuggling to be widespread. Russian merchants from such distant places as Siberia came here to obtain corals smuggled from Kraków.
Social activity of the Jewish population was observable. In the years 1924-1927, duties of the mayor’s deputy were performed by merchant Icek Rubin – a Hasid, disciple of the tzadik from Góra Kalwaria, whereas the roles of jurors were taken over by Salomon Gertler and David Srebrny. A temporary Town Council established in April 1932 by the provincial governor included Pejsach Szternberg, Mendel Rożenek and Izrael Wajnsztok. In 1934, P. Szternberg, M. Rożenek, Aba Granetman, Lejba Groswald, Icek Chil Minc, Szmul Lewkowicz and Menesze Herszlewicz entered the Board on behalf of the Non-partisan Block for the Cooperation with Government. In 1939, the Town Council consisted of Icek Abram
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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