Polska / łódzkie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Sites of martyrdom||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||łódzkie / łódzkie (before 1939)|
|County:||sieradzki / sieradzki (before 1939)|
|Community:||Warta / Warta (before 1939)|
|Other names:||דווארט [j. jidysz]; Варта [j. rosyjski]|
The Warta city in Łódź Province, Sieradz District, located on the river with the same name. The seat of the urban-rural Warta Municipality. Between 1975-1998 the city belonged to the administration of the Sieradz Province.
First Jews came to Warta in the first half of the 16th century. These were the Czech and Moravian Jews. In 1534 the first synagogue was built near the market square, and in its vicinity a cemetery was located.
In 1564 there were six Jewish houses in the city. Yet, in 1616 there were 16 of them. Approximately one hundred years later the opposition of the Christian inhabitants towards the Jewish community started to be noticeable. The disputes concerned mostly economic issues, for instance in 1652 the shoe-makers’ guild won an exclusive right to buy leather. Up to this point, only Jews had had such a privilege. In 1655, during the Swedish Deluge, Warta – faithful to the Polish King – was devastated, and in the same time the Jewish community was devastated by the Swedes as well as by Stefan Czarnecki’s army. During the 1656 conflagration, the Jewish part of the city was burnt down to the ground. The next influx of Jewish people took place circa 1660. The city authorities imposed more and more charges on Jews, which resulted in the decline in their income. Also taxes for the benefit of the kingdom’s treasury and Bernardine monastery were severe for the Jews. In 1671 Jews were defending their right before the King Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki, who restored their right to slaughter animals and sell meat, and also allowed Jewish furriers to produce fur coats and caps. However, it did not change the attitude of their Christian neighbours towards them. They still attempted to restrict the income opportunities of the Jewish people. For instance, in the 18th century there was a restriction in Warta, concerning Jews and the beer and vodka trade.
The third great conflagration of Warta, which took place in 1757 led the city to ruin, which since this time plunged into an economic decline.
The period of partitions and Napoleonic Wars completed the economic and demographic deterioration. According to the 1800 census, there were 950 inhabitants, including 388 Jews. In 1808, there were 1,400 Christians and 523 Jews. In 1864 the population of Jews slightly outnumbered the population of Christians totalling 55.8% of all inhabitants (2,177 Jews). In 1881 Warta was inhabited by 2,509 Jews, which constituted 53% of the whole population.
The Jewish inhabitants were also occupied with craft professions: tailoring, furriery, glass-making. T
The earliest records regarding Warta come from 1255, derived from the privilege awarded by Kazimierz, the Duke of Kujawy, Łęczyca and Sieradz, in which he allowed two townsmen – Marcin and Wilkin to create a settlement.
The trade routes which were crossing the city: salt route from Bochnia to Kalisz, Moravia-Kujawy route, and the route connecting the Greater Poland with Silesia, were conducive for its development. The testimony for the immense presence of merchants was the creation of the customs chamber, which was mentioned for the first time in 1369. The second half of the 14th century, as well as the 15th and 16th centuries were the period of the biggest growth of Warta. The drapery industry was blossoming. At the turn of the 15th and 16th century there were five crafts guilds: weavers, butchers, blacksmiths, locksmiths and shoemakers. The city constituted a local trade centre and merchants from Kraków and Wrocław visited often.
At the turn of the 15th and 16th century Warta was a representative of the group of medium-sized cities, described by the tax sources as oppidia secundi ordinis. In 1458 there were 1400 inhabitants in the city, and approx. 230 houses located in the market square and fourteen streets: Sieradzka, Św. Jana, Łaziebna, Błotna, Prezbitrów, Wójtowska, Głęboka, Stawska, Witowska, Dworska, Żydowska (what indicates the presence of Jewish community in the city), Dudlowska, Poroszkowska and Solatowa and two suburbs. This spatial arrangement, created at the turn of the Middle Ages survived in almost unaltered form through the next centuries, the evidence of which is the 19th century city plan and the present market square and its surrounding arrangement.
The economic growth was accompanied with the increase of political significance. Between 1423-1447 there were seven forays with the presence of kings (successively Władysław Jagiełło, Władysław III and Kazimierz Jagiellończyk) and the aristocracy elite.
The turn of the 15th century brought first symptoms showing the decline of the development conditions of the Warta. Apart from the calamities, an unfavourable, in the public opinion, phenomenon was pledging the city to aristocracy by Kazimierz Jagiellończyk and his successors. Warta was an important craft production center; the following professions became the guild organizations: meat and salt merch