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Gorzów Wielkopolski

Polska / lubuskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere

Summary

Province:lubuskie / inne (before 1939)
County:gorzowski grodzki / Landsberg (Warthe) (before 1939)
Community:Gorzów Wielkopolski / Landsberg (Warthe) (before 1939)
Other names:Landsberg an der Warthe [j.niemiecki],
 
GPS:
52.7323° N / 15.2370° E
52°43'56" N / 15°14'13" E

Location

Andrzej Kirmiel /

Gorzow Wielkopolski is a town located in Western Poland, Lubuskie Province, Gorzowo County. It lies 115 km north of Zielona Góra and 464 km north-west of Warsaw, on the Warta and Kłodawka rivers.

 

 

 

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History

Andrzej Kirmiel

Ilustracja nr 1 | nieznany

The exact date of the first Jewish settlement in Gorzów is unknown. According to the estimates, Jews settled in Gorzów after 1350, after the fire which had destroyed the town earlier that year. In an attempt to provide relief to victims of the fire, Margrave Ludvig, the ruler of Brandenburg, exempted the town of all its obligations towards him. Jews were likely granted permission to settle in Gorzów, and their financial assets expedited the process of town reconstruction after the fire. Arrival of Jews in Gorzów may also be linked with a document from June 6, 1350, in which the Margrave grants the New March towns permission to take in all the Jews who had been expelled from other regions.

It is assumed that the Jewish quarter was established around that time. It was located in the south-western part of the town. The ghetto boundaries were approximately along the following streets of today: Sikorskiego St., Spichrzowa St., Młyńska St. and Wodna St. There is no information on what the first Jewish quarter looked like and how it was organized because the first written account on the subject dates back to 1557, which was during a period in which there were no Jews left in Gorzów. It is safe to assume, however, that the Council had all the standard institutions necessary for a functional community, such as a cemetery, a synagogue and a mikveh (Heb.: ritual bath). Even though Jews were also present in other towns of the New March, the formal name of Judenviertel (Ger.: Jewish Quarter) was applied only in Gorzów, referring to the section of town inhabited by Jews. This may be an indication to significance and power of the local community; due to the lack of historical sources, however, one may only speculate on this issue.

The year of 1510 was fraught with many unfavorable consequences for the Jews in Brandenburg. They were accused of desecrating the Host and subsequently expelled from the March, and therefore also from Gorzów. It was the first time, when Jews were expelled from the town. Curiously, even after the Jews had left Gorzów, the area of the former ghetto continued to be referred to as the "Jewish Quarter". Still, Christians settled in the former Jewish section of town and tailored it to their needs. The mikveh, which was located next to the city walls, was transformed into a public bath, and is referr

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Local history

Andrzej Kirmiel

Gorzów Wielkopolski | Marcin Wygocki

In 1950-1975, Gorzów was the capital of Zielonogórskie Province and subsequently (1975-1998)  it was the capital of Gorzowskie Province.

Before 1945, the town belonged to Prussia, Brandenburg province, Frankfurt (Oder) administrative district, Landsberg (Warthe) county.

In the early Middle Ages, Gorzów was a small settlement next to the ford at the Warta river. In 1257, the Brandenburg margrave John I from the House of Ascania named the settlement Landisberch Nova  (the New Landsberg; Alt-Landsberg – the Old Landsberg -- was a town situated next to Berlin) with the hope that it would serve as a counterpart to the Santok fortress located on the Polish side of the border. The first settlers arrived in Landisberch Nova from Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and Westphalia. In 1260, the daughter of Przemysł I of Greater Poland Konstancia married Konrad, the son of the Brandenburg margrave John I. The lands of the Santok castellany (with the exception of Santok itself) constituted her dowry.

The newly founded town soon became an important center for cultural and trade  on the eastern boundaries of Brandenburg. The location of the town at the estuary of Kłodawka to the Warta, provided convenient conditions for urbanization, which escalated quickly thanks to the work of merchants and craftsmen. The town’s ensuing expansion  made it of even greater economic and strategic value. Cultural life also grew rapidly: for example, in the 13th century, a cathedral that exists to this day was erected. In 1321, the town's boundaries were solidified as it was surrounded by walls.

In the 15th century, the Teutonic Order was interested in the Neumark lands, a part of which were covered by Gorzów. The Order bought the lands in 1402, after having received the support of the towns and some of the knights. In the same year,  the city councils of Neumark and Gorzów paid homage to the Order in Choszczno. Neumark did not bring any serious material profits to the Order -- rather, it brought political difficulties instead. In 1455, based on an agreement signed in Gniewo, Neumark and Gorzów were finally in the hands of the Elector of Brandenburg Frederic and from that time until the end of World War I, the lands remained in the posession of the House of Hohenzollern.

Gorzów survived multiple occupations over the yea

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