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Polska / mazowieckie

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Province:mazowieckie / kieleckie (before 1939)
County:radomski / radomski (before 1939)
Community:Iłża / Iłża (before 1939)
Other names:Илжа [j. rosyjski]; אילז'ה [j. hebrajski]
51.1632° N / 21.2399° E
51°09'47" N / 21°14'23" E


Krzysztof Urbański

Iłża – is a town in the southern part of the Masovian Province, Radom County and constitutes a seat of the Iłża Municipality.

It has 5.149 inhabitants (2008).




Krzysztof Urbański

Iłżanka river | unknown

The first Jews began arriving in this area after 1789. Their number grew quickly. In 1827, Iłża had 376 Jews, being 22 % of the population, in 1857 – 521 (26.3%), in 1879 – 2,069 (48%). They made their living through trade and crafts.

The Jewish Community Council was officially established in 1850. A synagogue was erected on the site of a former pottery owned by Zeliks Sunderland, employing, in the period 1886–1887, around 40 workers, mainly Jews. At the time, as well as that pottery, Jews also owned three mills, five quarries and ten mercantile agencies.

There were several cheders in the town and, from 1910, a Jewish Public School for forty students. The community’s leader was Rabbi Mosiek Cukier, born in 1848 in Kazanów. He was educated by Wolf Baiman who held a degree of higher education and sang in the Kazanów synagogue. Later, his education progressed under the supervision of Rabbi Chaskiel Cukier, and then under Rabbi Wolf Wajngord in Gniewoszów. He completed his education in Wieniawa, near Lublin, under the attentive eye of Rabbi Herszl Mendelson. From 1902, he was an active member of the Savings and Loan Society.

In 1837, a 1.4 ha cemetery was established on the road leading to Lipsko and, from 1850, it was the owned by the Jewish Community Council ship of the community, which took care of providing a fence to it. The I lłża community maintained close relations with that in Radom, often taking advantage of their resources. For almost 60 years, until the 1920's, Rabbi Baruch Grossman led the community.

Iłża is the literature of the 19th and 20th centuries thanks to  poet Bolesław Leśmian, whose actual name was Lesman (1878-1937) Leśmian's mother, Emma Sunderland, came from Iłża and the poet paid numerous visits to the Sunderlands.

A huge amount of damage was caused by World War I. many residents suffered due to the Russians. Konrad Zieliński writes that Lejzok Herlik, a scrap metal dealer, was imprisoned only because several rifle shells were found in his possession.

Antisemitic disturbances arose in May 1920. At the zionist conference, Szlomo Teitelbaum, secretary of the Zionist Organisation, reported that four Jews had been arrested for taking part in the riots. Among those arrested was a fifteen year old boy. They were sentenced to


Local history

Krzysztof Urbański

Iłża, województwo kieleckie. Fragment rynku | Nieznany

Iłża – is situated at the border of the Góry Świętokrzyskie and the Masovian Plain in the Iłżanka River valley. The history of the town dates back to the medieval times. Throughout several ages, Iłża belonged to the bishops from Kraków. The old town was chartered before 1260, and the new one at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the 18th century, the Iłża estate included the town of Iłża and 14 villages. The town center with a hall was situated within the ancient defensive walls.

The town prospered for the most part through trade. Apart from the Monday market, the town organized seven fairs per year. It prospered during the 16th century. In 1569 Iłża had eighteen potters, sixteen blacksmiths, four shoemakers, three weavers, eight stall keepers, eight furriers, and two mills. The beer trade was common. In 1789, an ironworks, oil mill, mill, saw mill, textile factory and dye works operated in this area. Agriculture played a significant role, too. Until the mid-17th century, Iłza was a large pottery center. The products manufactured here were sent to Kraków, Gdańsk, and Vilnius.

After the third partition of Poland, Iłża was under Austrian occupation; later it was incorporated into the Duchy of Warsaw, and afterwards into the Kingdom of Poland. In 1820, there were 37 brick houses and 75 wooden ones in the town. In 1860, Iłża was inhabited by 1,879 people and had a network of 21 streets, 11 brick and storied, 59 single-storied and 166 wooden houses. Iłża became the County seat in 1867, however the fact was not enough to save it from degradation to the rank of a settlement in 1867. According to what Stanisław Marcinkowski writes: “pots manufacturing in the 19th century guaranteed employment to fifty masters, twenty journeymen, and thirty apprentices”.

The products were delivered by the local Jews to different parts of Kielce County.

In 1857, the number of the town’s inhabitants was 1,879, while in 1910 – 5,910. The development and growth of Iłża was impeded by fires and subsequent cholera epidemics. At the turn of the century, there were two grain warehouses, three dairy warehouses, fifty-two warehouses with miscellaneous articles, four with grocery products, several with products measured according to the el, or from the elbow to the fingertips, two with haberdashery, five with iron, and two wit





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