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Przasnysz

Polska / mazowieckie

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

Summary

Province:mazowieckie / warszawskie (before 1939)
County:przasnyski / przasnyski (before 1939)
Community:Przasnysz / Przasnysz (before 1939)
Other names:Przasnisch
Praschnitz (1939-1945)
פזיאסניש [j.jidysz],
 
GPS:
53.0190° N / 20.8804° E
53°01'08" N / 20°52'49" E

Location

Tomasz Kawski

The town is located in Mazowieckie Province, on the edge of Ciechanów Uplands and Kurpiowskie Flatlands, on the Węgierka River. It has 16.819 inhabitants (2008).

Distances: Warsaw 94 km, Łomża 90 km, Płock 103 km, Pułtusk 41 km, Ciechanów 27 km, Maków Mazowiecki 26 km, Olsztyn 97 km

 

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History

Hubert

Jews appeared in Przasnysz in the 16th century and emerged as an organized community over the 18th century. The late 1880s saw the kehilla reach its peak, with the number of its members at 4,500 (52% of the town’s population).

However, in the next decades the number decreased, which was additionally caused by the losses during the First World War. In the reborn Poland the Przasnysz kehilla gradually grew to 3,000 members in mid-1939. It had been constituted at the end of the 18th century or at the beginning of the 19th century.

In 1857 it numbered 1,888 people. Around that time services were held in a wooden synagogue with a stone front, which was capable of holding 1,050 men in the main room and 220 women on the balcony.

In 1860 the construction of a new beth midrash was commenced, next to the synagogue in Bydlęca Street on the Węgierka River. The beth midrash measured 56 feet in length, 41 feet in width and 14 feet in height. It was a tin-roofed, wooden building on an underpinning. One year earlier the building of a new bathhouse started to replace the old one, erected in 1824. By the authorities’ orders, the old synagogue was taken down in 1866. In the same year a new synagogue was built in Bydlęca (later Berka Joselewicza) Street. It did not survive the First World War as it was demolished by retreating Cossack troops in 1915.

In 1820 the Jewish quarter in Przasnysz was demarcated. It encompassed the Horse Market as well as Błonie, Zduńska, Mała Warszawska, Kacza streets. Densely populated, it had to be enlarged by absorbing Świętokrzyska and Makowska streets. The hardships of wartime being over, the kehilla gradually rebuilt the infrastructure. In the interwar period it had a cemetery, an orphanage, a bathhouse and a cheap canteen. The recreation of the synagogue was completed in 1928 and the costs were covered by rabbi Eljahu Purzycki, who had sold his house and allocated 10,000 zl for that purpose. He also funded a large aron kodesh.

Mendel Lewkowicz served as rabbi till 1924 and was followed by Icchak Parzęczewski (1939-1942, previously rabbi in Głowno, Łowicz and Ruda Pabianicka). The kehilla was strongly influenced by orthodox supporters of traditional Judaism as well as Hasidim from Góra Kalwaria and Aleksandrów. They formed a 200-strong division of Agudat Israel. They also aided ‘Talmud Torah’

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Local history

Tomasz Kawski

In the 13th century there was a trading settlement and Pomeranian Dukes‘ hunting manor  in the area of present-day Przasnysz. The settlement thrived thanks to its location near a trading route from Warsaw to Prussia.

In 1416 it was first mentioned as a town. Mazovian Duke Janusz I located it under Chełmno Law in 1927. In the 15th and 16th centuries the town developed rapidly. In 1564 there were 26 stone houses and 633 wooden ones. The population reached 4,500 people, out of whom about 500 were craftsmen: 126 brewers, 117 bakers, 36 furriers, 34 tailors, 22 stove-fitters. The town was renowned for its beer, cloth, tar and cinder. Its horse and cattle markets attracted people from both Mazowsze and the neighbouring provinces.

The town’s prominence was evidenced by two churches in the 15th century and as many as five in the 16th century. The parish churches (since the 15th century) as well as the Bernardines‘ churches (since the 18th century) had schools. In 1613 part of the town burned down in a fire. Three years later the proportion of unoccupied to inhabited houses was 262 to 404.

The town was going through a hard time and the Swedish invasion (1655-1660) added to its demise, only 100 houses being inhabited in 1663. The first signs of economic recovery were to be seen only in the second half of the 18th century. In 1797 there were 233 houses. It was not until 50 years later that Przasnysz regained its former importance. New industrial plants, such as two breweries, a chicory factory and a tannery, boosted a local economy. The population increased from 2,059 residents to as many as 7,074 in 1880.  During the First World War 70% of the buildings were destroyed, which was another serious setback for the town.

Nowadays Przasnysz is a local industrial center (main branches: machine building, food processing, chemicals production, timber processing, paper making, leather industry, consumer goods industry), it is the seat of the county and an important intersection. The Historical Museum as well as the Association of Friends of Przasnysz are important local institutions.

Geographic and administrative location:

Until the 18th century: Kingdom of Poland, Ciechanów District

1795-1807: Prussia

1807-1815: Duchy of Warsaw, Płock Department

1815-1918: Russia (Congress Po

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