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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:sochaczewski / sochaczewski (before 1939)
Community:Sochaczew / Sochaczew (before 1939)
Other names:סאכאטשעוו [j. jidysz]; סוכצ'ב [j. hebrajski]; Сохачев [j. rosyjski]
52.2293° N / 20.2383° E
52°13'45" N / 20°14'17" E

Location /

Sochaczew – a city with county rights in central Poland, in the Mazowieckie Province. It lies 55 km west of Warsaw, by the Bzura River.




Tomasz Kawski /

Jewish presence in Sochaczew dates back to the 15th century. In the years 1426-1455, the duke of Mazowsze Władysław issued to the Jews of the Sochaczew region a privilege which regulated the legal way of dealing with Christian land owners who were in debt to Jews. It is possible that Jews lived exclusively in the town at that time. They appear in the sources as early as 1463, when a Jewish doctor named Feliks is reported to live and work there. In 1507, the Jews of Sochaczew paid 6 zlotys of coronation tax. The information on Mojżesz and Michał, who were tax collectors in Sochaczew and Kłodawa, dates back to the beginning of the 16th century.

In the second half of the 16th century, anti-Jewish riot became more frequent in Mazowsze. With the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation in the background, many accusations against Jews were spread. One of charges considered desecration of the Host and pressing blood out of it. A case of this kind ended up in Płock. In April 1556, a group of townsmen from Sochaczew accused the local Jews that they had bought a consecrated host from Dorota Łazęcka and pressed blood from it. The district governor of Sochaczew, Stanisław Borek from Trzecieniec, punished Dorota Łazęcka and the rabbi of Sochaczew Beniasz with death penalty, wich was carried out on 23 April 1556. The remaining three accused Jews were taken to the provincial governor of Rawa Andrzej Sierpski and after being subjected to torture, they confessed. On 1 June 1556, they were hanged on the hooks at the three gates to Płock. The Jews of Płock feared similar incidents and asked King Zygmunt August to issue a safe conduct for them and help establishing the truth. The king gave his protection to all Jews in Rzeczpospolita, especially those in Płock, until the case was resolved. The safe conduct gave them right to trade and prove their innocence. After half a year (on 14 January 1557), Zygmunt August ordered to take the victims of the hooks and allowed the families to bury them.

In 1564 and 1570, the Jews owned 7 houses, including a synagogue. The poll tax was paid by 24 Jews in 1578. The local municipality was growing fast. In 1599, already 20 houses belonged to Jews. Addiionaly, sixteen tax collectors lived there. In 1602, the Jews had also a hospital, a house of prayer, and the number of tax collectors dropped to 4.


Local history

Tomasz Kawski

The history of Sochaczew dates back to a settlement founded in the Early Middle Ages near a defensive stronghold relocated in the 14th century to a hill currently known as the Castle Mountain, where a brick castle was erected. Sochaczew was first mentioned in documents from 1138 as an alleged place of the death of Duke Bolesław III Krzywousty.

In 1221, Sochaczew was referred to as the seat of a castellany. In 1257, three churches were constructed there: parish, monastery and Dominican ones. The stronghold and settlement were destroyed following the invasion of the Lithuanians and Ruthenians in 1283. They were rebuilt and strengthened by Ziemowit III, Duke of Mazowsze. At the end of the 13th or at the beginning of the 14th century (most probably in 1324), Sochaczew was granted municipal rights. In 1377, Siemowit III wrote down and proclaimed the laws of Mazowsze in Sochaczew. At that time, the town functioned as the capital of the Sochaczew Land and its dukes were vassals of the Polish king.

In 1476, the Sochaczew Land was annexed by the Kingdom of Poland as part of the Rawa Province and Sochaczew itself became a royal city. In 1434 and 1476, its municipal rights were confirmed. Despite the fires that wreaked havoc in the town in 1506, 1509, 1536 and 1590, Sochaczew had a large population. In 1564, about 2 thousand people lived in 330 houses, mainly artisans affiliated in 22 guilds. Before 1630, the old castle was turned into the seat of starostes. In 1619, another fire destroyed half of the town. Sochaczew was also ruined by the wars in the second half of the 17th century, particularly the Swedish Deluge. In 1660, only 13 houses remained in the town. Several dozen years later, Sochacze had only slightly over 200 inhabitants.  Further destruction was brought by the wars at the beginning of the 18th century and an epidemic in the years 1708–1709.

In the second half of the 18th century, the town was gradually gaining in importance. The number of inhabitants grew to about 1500. Following the third partition of Poland (1795), the Sochaczew Land came under Prussian occupation (South Prussia). In 1807, it became part of the Duchy of Warsaw (Warsaw department) and was incorporated in 1815 into the Kingdom of Poland (Province, later Governorate of Warsaw). At the beginning of the 19th century, the urban layout of Sochaczew un





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