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Skwierzyna

Polska / lubuskie

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

Summary

Province:lubuskie / inne (before 1939)
County:międzyrzecki / Schwerin (Warthe) (before 1939)
Community:Skwierzyna / Schwerin an der Warthe (before 1939)
Other names:Schwerin an der Warthe [j. niem.]
 
GPS:
52.5991° N / 15.5063° E
52°35'56" N / 15°30'22" E

Location

Andrzej Kirmiel

Skwierzyna lies in the Northeastern part of Lubusz Province, at a crossroad of state road number 3 (E 65), 24 and 159.

The town lies in Międzyrzecz County and it is the seat of country-town municipality of Skwierzyn. 


 

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History

Andrzej Kirmiel

Ilustracja nr 3 | Andrzej Kirmiel

Our knowledge about Skwierzyna’s Jewish Community is limited. One can suppose that Jews arrived in Skwierzyna at the beginning of the 14th century. The town’s location, located on an important trade route, attracted their attention. After the banishment of Jews from Brandenburg in 1510 their number (like in neighboring Międzyrzecz) still increased. From thepoint of view of Jewish settlers it was important that Skwierzyna or Miedzyrzecz were royal properties. By definition they were subordinated to the king who was their protector, guarding both people and property, putting them under jurisdiction of a town official. It did not however prevent numerous tensions between them and town dwellers. Similarily in nearby Międzyrzecze, Jews could live only in specially marked out, less attractive parts of town. On a map from 1780, Skwierzyna’s ghetto was located on both sides of the town’s gate, on the southwest side. The bridge before the gate on Katzbach was called The Jewish One, ”Judenbrucke,” most probably located nearby the Jewish District. Maybe Jews were responsible for managing the bridge and that was why it received the name. The isolation of the Jews was not caused only by Christians’ reluctance. The synagogue was the center of life. To the end of the 18th century it was located on Rowowa St. (today the corner of Powstancow Wielkopolskich and Piłsudskiego Streets). There were other community buildings nearby: a cheder (school) and mikvah (bathhouse). [see plan of Skwierzyna nr 3] The community also had a slaughterhouse and kosher slaughterer, matzoh making factory and a cemetery. The cemetery is the only material evidence which is left after Skwierzyna’s Jews. It is located on a so-called Jewish Peak (Judenberg) near the road to Miedzyrzecz about 2 kilometres from the town’s center. [see plans of Skwierzyna nr 1 i 2]

In 1456 every Jew had to transfer four groshes of capital tax. In 1519, Szymona from Skwierzyna was named as one out of eleven appointed as tax collector by King Zygmunt Stary. One year later the residents demanded Jews to be banished from the town and King Zygmunt Stary gave an order to banish all the Jews from Skwierzyna, because “according to their customs, there is a rule to take away food and disturb in various and deliberate ways, harming the residents of

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Local history

Andrzej Kirmiel

Skwierzyna | Marcin Wygocki

In the years 1975-1998 it lied in Gorzów Province and in the years 1950-1975 in Zielonagóra Province.

Until 1922 the region was under Prussian reign, a province of Poznan, Schwerin county (Warthe), in the years 1922-1939 it lied in Poznan county – Western Prussia, whereas from 1939 it lied in Brandenburg county, administrative district of Frankfurt (Oder), Schwerin county (Warthe).

Skwierzyna was originally a Slavic fisherman settlement which lied on the Warta River. Approximately in 1295 it was granted town rights by Polish King Przemyslaw II. First documented information about the town dates back to 1306 and 1312. After a great fire of the town in 1406, Skwierzyna was granted new town rights and privileges by King Władysław Jagiełło. The same Polish King ordered that a trade route be created from Krakow to Szczecin in 1390-92 and Skwierzyna benefited from this because a customs house was created there.

Its trade route led from Skwierzyna, which lied almost on the border with Brandenburg (the border lied 4.5 kilometers from the town), and owing to this fact a customs house was established there. Two years later Skwierzyna was allowed to keep a store. The town was wealthy due to craft and trade; it was famous for its weavery, brewery, shoe-making, leather, crops and timber trade. The sources of income for the city were also numerous taxes imposed on residents, travelers and those who were trading on the fairs of Skwierzyn. The location of the city, on the Polish-Brandenbursk frontier and trade character of the region resulted in various nations, religions and cultures interweaving there. Although, the town belonged to the Polish State, it was German residents who comprised the majority of the population of the town. German inhabitants arrived in the region as early as in the middle ages. Germans were the largest group within the population of the town and held most of the power within the city council. Other groups included the Jews, and a small number of Poles who were usually very poor. From the beginning of the 17th century it was also the Dutch who settled down in the region.

At the end of the 17th century, there was a series of natural disasters. Fires, floods and in the years 1728-1730 swarms of locusts which kept coming back, destroyed meadows and fields which led to poverty and death.

Skwierzyna had also

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