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Polska / mazowieckie

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Province:mazowieckie / warszawskie (before 1939)
County:płoński / płoński (before 1939)
Community:Płońsk / Płońsk (before 1939)
Other names:Plönnen (1939-1945)
Плонск [j.rosyjski]
52.6230° N / 20.3754° E
52°37'22" N / 20°22'31" E

Location /

Płońsk - a city with county rights in central Poland, in Mazowieckie Province. It lies 67 km northwest of Warsaw, by the Płonka River.



Tomasz Kawski

The oldest remark about Jews living in Płońsk is dated 1448. In 1507 the Jewish inhabitants paid 5 zlotys of coronation tax. In 1578 the local Jewish kehilla had 24 taxpayers. In the second half of the 16th century, Jews were accused by Christians of profaning the Host. The Jewish community in Płońsk was subordinated to the kehilla in Ciechanów until the middle of the 18th century.

In the 17th century the first synagogue was raised in town. The principles of Jewish-Polish coexistence were formally regulated in 1768 by a special agreement. From 1768 to 1777 the town council allowed Jewish people to trade, produce mead and sell spirits. In 1765 the Jewish community owned 20 houses. In 1816 the first plan to establish a Jewish district for 172 families was issued.

After the fire of 1826, the town authorities returned to that plan, they noticed, however, that Jews owned plots and houses in diverse districts , where the number of Jewish inhabitants was prevailing. Hence, establishing one Jewish district was considered purposeless from the practical point of view. Jews were only recommended not to build nor buy houses neighboring to the Polish ones. Such a restriction was the consequence of a fire that burnt part of the town in 1826. Numerous Jewish families lost their shelters. The town authorities built 50 barracks for them by the Market Square where 50 families settled. Until 1844 only some of them managed to move to new houses. The remaining ones were still crowding in the barracks, notwithstanding pressures of the town authorities. The main source of income for Jews was still trade. In 1844 Hersz Senior, Josef Fenkiel, Mosiek Bornsztejn and Abe Cemach traded on a large scale. The first one traded in kosher meat and foreign spirits; the remaining three traded in Polish goods sold in ells. Twelve stall owners were in charge of small trade. Owners of taverns and tenants of various town fees also belonged to the wealthy town Jewry.

In 1819 28 out of 32 taverns in Płońsk belonged to Jews. One of the wealthiest Jews was Gotfryd Bittner who owned two taverns. The local financial elite included also taproom landlords. In Płońsk, these were Hersz Sztucki from Ostrołęka, Joachim Goldm from Zakroczym and Nuchim Rubinstein from Pułtusk. In the years 1828-1830 the incomes from taproom tenancy in the amount of 7,715 zloties went to Lejzer C


Local history

Tomasz Kawski

The beginnings of Płońsk are connected with a stronghold existing there since the 11th century. At the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries, a trade settlement developed there, in the town’s suburbium. Płońsk was first mentioned in historical documents in 1155. In the period from 1422 to 1426 Prince Siemowit IV granted town rights to Płońsk under the Kulm (Chełmno) Law.

In the 14th and 15th centuries the County of Płońsk was owned by the Mazovian duchesses. Duchess Katarzyna founded the monastery of the Carmelites and confirmed the location privilege; moreover she equaled the rights of Płońsk to those of Raciąż and Mława. After incorporating the region of Mazovia to the Kingdom of Poland, Płońsk was raised to the rank of a royal town – a county town where land courts were held.

The following kings granted new privileges to the town: Sigismund I (1527), Stephen Bathory (1576), John III Sobieski (1677), August II (1720), August III (1749) and Stanisław August Poniatowski (1767). Płońsk was severely destroyed during the Swedish Deluge in the period from 1655 to 1660. Only 21 out of 130 town real estates were preserved. The amount of land cultivated by the townspeople decreased from 23 wlokas (old-Polish unit of area) to 1.25 wloka. One mill functioned there. Four out of 22 town craftsmen continued their professional activity. One more century of political chaos in Poland was an obstacle for the town’s development.

In 1765 Płońsk was still ruined. There were only 27 houses there, while 42 lots remained empty. At the end of the 18th century tannery began to develop in town. In the next century several small enterprises were established in Płońsk, mainly: a brickyard, a brewery, a vinegar factory, a mead factory and an oil plant. Shoemaking, cooperage and pottery developed. In 1924 the first railway line was established. During World War II mass executions of local people were carried out in Plonsk.

After the war, local industry grew, in particular food industry and agricultural services. At present, Płońsk is a local administrative, production, commercial and cultural center of its region.

Geography and administration:

Until the 18th century –Kingdom of Poland, Płock Province, Płońsk County

1793 – 1807 – Prussia

1807 – 1815 – the Duchy of Warsaw, Department of Płock, Pułtus


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