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Polska / mazowieckie

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


Province:mazowieckie / warszawskie (before 1939)
County:ostrołęcki / ostrołęcki (before 1939)
Community:Ostrołęka / Ostrołęka (before 1939)
Other names:אסטראלענקע[j. jidysz]; אוסטרולנקה [j. hebrajski]; Остроленка [j. rosyjski]
53.0874° N / 21.5562° E
53°05'14" N / 21°33'22" E


Tomasz Kawski /

Ostrołęka - a city with county rights in central Poland, in Masovia Province. It lies 51 km south-east of Warsaw, by the Narew River.




Pocztówka z Ostrołęki, obieg 1916 r. | nieznany

Jews began to settle in Ostrołęka in the last decade of the eighteenth century. In 1794, a plot of land was selected for a Jewish cemetery and a synagogue was built around the same time. One of the first rabbis was named Izaak.

In 1812, Ostrołęka’s Jewish population comprised 14 families whose members engaged in the following businesses: 4 shopkeepers, 3 innkeepers, 3 butchers, a watchmaker, a hatter, a circumciser and a teacher. Jews lived in the market square vicinity. In 1824, their number grew to 73. They lived in six houses, three were of which were by the market square while the rest were on a street leading to it. The remaining Jews rented houses in different parts of the town.

In 1826, the boundaries of the Jewish Quarter, which encompassed the Horse Market, was bounded by Cygańska St., Magazynowa St., Różańska St., Solna St., Piaski St., Folwarczna St. and Tylna St. Two families were allowed to live outside the area provided they built a brick house.

The craft village located at the outskirts of the town accelerated the development of the Jewish settlement. Jews began to set up larger craft workshops for processing amber, milling and spinning. Spinning pioneers included the Bondi family of Austrian origin, which established a cotton mill in 1829. In 1832, it expanded and provided employment for 20 people. The company's products received awards at fairs in 1839 and 1842. A sizable group of Jews found employment in farming, tar production, and amber processing. Others were involved in traditional crafts (glaziery, butchery, shoemaking, tailoring, etc), inn keeping, leasing of local taxes and trade.

During the 1830-31 uprising, Ostrołęka was partly destroyed and the synagogue was burned. Services were then conducted in a wooden house on Rożańska Street, the condition and location of which left much to be desired. In 1832, Mordka Fiszel Shapira made efforts to take over the position of rabbi.


Local history

Tomasz Kawski /

The first evidence of the presence of settlers in Ostrołęka is associated with a fortified settlement, which later came to be called Stare Miasto (Old Town). It was situated across the small River Omulwia, an estuary of the River Narwia, on the trade route from Masovia to Prussia. Then, the small fortified settlement developed into a trade settlement, and it is certain that in 1373 it already had town privileges under the Chełmno law, which is confirmed by the privilege granted by Siemowit III, Duke of Masovia.

The privileges that followed in 1427, 1436 and 1437, provided convenient conditions for the town to grow, and they were extended after Masovia was incorporated into the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland in 1526. The Ostrołęka Crown Land (Polish: Starostwo ostrołęckie) became the property of Queen Bona. The basic source of wealth for the town were farm and forest (from Kurpiowska Forests) products floated up the Rivers Narwia and Wisła to Gdańsk from where they were exported to Western Europe. Beer played the most important role in the local trade. In the 16th century, among the professions that the townspeople were involved in included mainly shoemaking, fishery, beer making, butchery and milling industry.

The wars (especially the Swedish Deluge) and the epidemics that took place in the 17th century led to the collapse of the town, which was confounded by the damage caused by the Northern War (1702–1709) and the occupation of the Swedish and Russian armies. It was not until the second half of the 18th century that the town saw noticeable economic recovery, and the traders renewed their business contacts with Gdańsk, Królewiec and Warsaw.

A Cavalry Brigade commanded by General Antoni Madaliński was stationed in Ostrołęka in the months that preceded the outbreak of the Kościuszko Uprising. In March 1794, he refused to carry out a demobilisation order and set off towards Kraków, which was the beginning of the insurrection.

As a result of the third partition of Poland the town became part of the Prussia partition, in Płock Department of New East Prussia. From 1807 on, it was in the Duchy of Warsaw, and from 1815 on, in the Kingdom of Poland (Russian partition, Płock Province). On 26 May 1831 the Russians defeated the Polish army in the battle of Ostrołęka, which started the collapse of the Novem


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