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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: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.



yarek shalom

Pocztówka z Ostrołęki, obieg 1916 r. | nieznany

Jews began to settle down in Ostrołęka only in the last decade of the 18th century. In 1794 grounds were assigned for a Jewish cemetery. A synagogue was also built. One of the first rabbis was called Isaac. In 1812 Ostrołęka was inhabited by 14 Jewish families (4 stall keepers, 3 bar-keepers, 3 butchers, a watchmaker, a hatter, a circumciser and a teacher). They were living near the market square. In 1824 their number increased to 73. They occupied 6 houses, 3 of which were located by the market square and the rest in the streets leading to it. The other Jews rented their houses in different parts of the town. In 1826 limits of Jewish quarters were established, and they consisted of Koński Targ and the following streets: Cygańska, Magazynowa, Różańska, Solna, Piaski, Folwarczna and Tylna. Two families were allowed to stay elsewhere on condition they build a brick house. Jewish settlement was promoted by the location of a handicraft village on the outskirts of town. Jews began to set up first bigger workshops and enterprises dealing with amber treatment, milling and spinning. The Bondi family, descending from Austria, were pioneers of the last. Its members established a cotton mill in 1829. In 1832 the factory was enlarged, providing employment for 20 people. Its products won prizes at exhibitions in 1839 and 1842. A considerable group of Jews found jobs regarded as agriculturally related, among others wood distillery, birch tar manufacture, amber treatment. Others were preoccupied with traditional crafts (glazing, butchery, shoe-making, tailoring etc.), bar-keeping, city tax rental and trade.

During the anti-Russian uprising 1830-1831 Ostrołęka was partly destroyed. Among others, the synagogue burned down. Prayers were said in a wooden house in Różańska Street whose condition and locality were far from perfect. In 1832 Mordka Fishel Yakovitsch Shapiro aspired to the dignity of the rabbi. In the forties of the 19th century, the rabbi or, what is more likely, assistant rabbi in Ostrołęka, was a man called Itzhak. At the same period it was undertaken to build a synagogue. Efforts to gain the support of the government for the investment in 1841, 1842 and 1848 were futile. The construction began thanks to an interest-free loan (1500 roubles)of Haim Tykociner and it was completed in 1856.

In 1862 the Jewish district was formally abolished. At t


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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