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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:płoński / sierpecki (before 1939)
Community:Raciąż / Raciąż (before 1939)
Other names:Рачёнж [j. rosyjski]
52.7812° N / 20.1170° E
52°46'52" N / 20°07'01" E


Izrael badacz

Raciąż is a town in Płońsk County, Masovian Voivodeship. It is situated on Raciąż Plain on the Raciążnica River (right-bank tributary of the Wkra River). It has 4684 inhabitants (2008).



Tomasz Kawski

Żydzi z Raciąża | Nieznany

Jews first began to settle in Raciąż most likely in the 1640s. However, the actual development of Jewish settlement came with Poland’s partition at the end of the 18th century, following the official abolition of the de non tolerandis de Judaeis privilege. No Jewish presence was noted in the town in 1790. There were 15 Jewish residents in 1800. In the decades that followed, both the number and percentage of Jews in Raciąż increased, with Jews constituting about 50% of the total population at the start of the 20th century.

Until 1843/1844 Raciąż Jews were came under the auspices of the kehilla in Radzanów. The authorities declared its independence on 24th December (10th January), indicating that local Jews possessed a synagogue accommodating about 1000 people, a bath house, as well as an assisting Rabbi, cantor and teachers. In the mid-19th century the Jewish community numbered 1154 people, 989 of whom attended the synagogue. The remaining 165 comprised the Hassids who prayed in their shtiebls. The Rabbi’s office was held at that time by Hersz Szymkiewicz.

In the beginning of the 19th century the Jewish community consisted of about 2500 people. On February 8th, 1825 a Jewish quarter was marked out in the north-east part of the town (Kiniker and neighboring streets). Many Jews appealed the orders obliging them to move to the quarter. The final date was set for 1st April 1834. The decision was formally abolished in 1862.

A cemetery was established after 1850 and a synagogue was built in 1888. A wooden Beit Midrash was built in the beginning of the 19th century. It burned down in 1934 and a new one was erected in its place. There were several Hassidic shtiebls, including those from Góra Kalwaria and Otwock. A Jewish hospital was in operation with 20 beds..

In the 19th century Jews were the only people in Raciąż who leased the city revenues and managed the construction and paving of streets and plazas. Abraham Bursztyn won a tender for street-paving in the 1840s, proposing a price of 1250 rbs, that was lower than a predetermined estimate of 320 rbs. In 1842 Lewin Berenbaum won a tender for the repair of three bridges in Raciąż, and in 1853 Wolf Sznycer from Płońsk won a tender for city well-repair. In the 1870s a large tannery was established by Chil Behaum.

On 8th June 1935 workers of a labor camp started


Local history

Tomasz Kawski /

Raciąż is one of the oldest settlements in the northern Mazovia. The first mention of Raciaz is the so-called Mogilno forgery dating back to 1065, although the date of the creation of the document is disputed. .

During the early medieval centuries (from the 13th c.) a burg (fortified town), home to a castellany (type of medieval district), existed within the territory of today’s Raciąż. From the 15th century Raciąż was the county’s capital and the headquarters of the court. A market settlement, existing in the burg, was granted Chełm civic rights by Duke Ziemowit the IV on December 15th, 1425.

Raciąż was originally the property of the Masovia dukes. It became a royal town in 1495, upon the annexing of the Duchy of Płock to the Kingdom of Poland. In 1512 it replaced Kock as the capital of the Płock bishops’ estates . Regional assemblies were held in the town from the 16th century. Masovian nobility usually gathered in the church of St. Wojciech . From the end of the 16th century Raciąż began to lose its significance. The wars of the 17th century intensified difficulties, the population drastically decreased and the town gradually declined. In 1725 the Church of St Wojciech burnt down. During the partitions Raciaż lost the status of the county capita; . In 1869 Raciaż lost its municipal rights, which it regained only in 1922. The creation of a railway connection between Raciaż and Płońsk and Sierpc in 1924 revived the local economy.

During World War II the city was incorporated into Germany under the name Ratcenz. Germans began to settle in Raciąż - colonists who immediately began to occupy important position and take over Jewish firms. The butchery was replaced by a  meat processing plant, and the school by a field bakery. All products were sent to the troops on the front .

A ghetto and labor camp were opened in Raciąż. Both Poles and Jews worked in the camp in the years1940-1942 . Two deportation actions took place in Raciąż. In October 1939, the majority of Jews were deported to Warsaw and Plock; in 1941, the few remaining Jews were depo


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