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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 here after 1350, i.e. after the fire which destroyed the town 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. It was most likely then that Jews were 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 the document of 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 demarcated 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 how the first Jewish quarter looked like and how it was organized; the first written account on the subject dates back to 1557, i.e. to the time when there were… no more Jews left in Gorzów. It is fair to assume, however, that the Council comprised all the institutions necessary for normal functioning of a 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 to 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 merely speculate on this issue.

The year 1510 was a seminal point in the history of Jews in Brandenburg. Accused of desecrating the Host, they were expelled from the March, and therefore also from Gorzów. It was the first expulsion, in terms of chronology, of Jews from the town. It is curious that even after the Jews had left Gorzów, area of the former ghetto was continually referred to as the Jewish Quarter. 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 referred to as such in historical sources from 1525 [ref.: Zys

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Local history

Andrzej Kirmiel /

Gorzów Wielkopolski | Marcin Wygocki

In the years 1975-1998 Gorzów was an administrative part of Gorzowskie Province (the capital of the province), and in the years 1950-1975, of Zielonogórskie 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 situated next to the ford at the Warta river. In 1257, the Brandenburg margrave John I from the House of Ascania set up a town called Landisberch Nova here (the New Landsberg; Alt-Landsberg – the Old Landsberg -- was a town situated next to Berlin), which was supposed to constitute a counterweight to the Santok fortress located on the Polish side of the border. The first settlers arrived 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 without the town itself constituted her dowry.

The newly created town soon became an important cultural and trade center on the eastern boundaries of Brandenburg. The location of the town at the estuary of Kłodawka to the Warta, on the water and land communication crossroads, provided convenient conditions for urbanization and town development which flourished thanks to the work of merchants and craftsmen. It led to the town’s enlargement which gave it even bigger economic and strategic value. In the 13th century, a cathedral, which exists to this day, was erected. In 1321, the town 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 and brought political difficulties instead. In 1455, on the basis of an agreement signed in Gniewo, Neumark with Gorzów was 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 hands of the House of Hohenzollern.

In 1433, Gorzów survived the Hussite siege. During the Thirty Years’ War (

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