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Zduńska Wola

Polska / łódzkie

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


Province:łódzkie / łódzkie (before 1939)
County:zduńskowolski / sieradzki (before 1939)
Community:Zduńska Wola / Zduńska Wola (before 1939)
Other names:זדונסקה וולה [j. hebrajski]; Здуньская-Воля [j. rosyjski]
51.5988° N / 18.9395° E
51°35'55" N / 18°56'22" E


Kamila Klauzińska

Zduńska Wola is situated on Wysoczyzna Łaska on the Pichna River (right estuary of the Warta) in the 25 square kilometers almost flat area.

The town lies in central Poland approximately 190 km west of Warsaw, 50 km from Łódź, about 170 km northerneast of Wrocław and about 200 km from Poznań. Such location creates favorable national and transnational transportation connections both from west to east and from south to north. Zduńska Wola is the intersection of two important transportation lines Warsaw – Łódź – Wrocław and Silesia – Gdynia (ports).



Kamila Klauzińska

Management of Jewish Community in Zduńska Wola | stara pocztówka

The first information referring to Jews from Zduńska Wola comes from 1788. The information mentions that the settlement was inhabited by 33 Polish and Jewish families; there was a town hall, Catholic church, synagogue and a school “where Jews gathered”, all built by Masłowski.

In 1825, Stefan Prawdzic-Złotnicki achieved a tsarist privilege from Alexander I and the settlement upgraded to a town. Article 5 of the privilege concerned entirely the Jewish population and strictly indicated where the Jews were supposed to live, i.e. the former Stefana Street, Ogrodowa Street and the area (No. 39) at the town square. The Article in question mentioned as well the Jews who had lived in Zduńska Wola before the edict. These people, as far as they owned any real estate outside the marked area, could still own their property. However, when they died, the successors had to sell these properties to Christians within half a year. The only stipulation was that the Jews had a fixed occupation which would generate income. The Article listed the preferable professions and they were: fabricant, self-employed craftsman and salesman – wholesaler of handicraft products. The owner of the town was obliged to hand over the parcel intended for building a Jewish cemetery for the legal right to derive profit from the property without charge. At the same time, Article 5 determines that the Jewish settlement in Zduńska Wola was to be regulated. The number of Jews could not exceed one tenth of the Christian population.

In 1823, Jacob Hiller-Warszawski, Abram Wrocławski and Gabriel Bernstein acquired from Stefan Prawdzic-Złotnicki the so-called House under Three Stars. It was situated on the western side of the square and converted it into a synagogue. The charter privilege from 1825 informed that the synagogue could occupy the same place provided that its entrance would be on different side than the square.

The Jewish Kehilla, established in 1828, was for the first two years dependent both financially and administratively on the Jewish Kehilla in Łasek. Together with creating their own cemetery in 1826 the Jews from Zduńska Wola gained independence.

The Jewish Kehilla included the Jews living in the town and those from the neighboring villages. It had its own budget whose money was spent on various types of undertakings such as allowances, medical


Local history

Kamila Klauzińska

Title page of book revealed at 100th anniversary of Zduńska Wola | skan wykonany przez Kamila Klauzińska

Administrative and geographic location:

19th and the eraly 20th centuries  – the Kingdom of Poland, Kalisz Goverment, Szadków County (Regierungsbezirk), from the second half of the 19th century – Sieradz County; interwar period: Łódź Province, Sieradz County.

The history of Zduńska Wola has its origin in the 14th century. The written sources from those times preserve information about the town describing it as nobleman’s estates situated on a trade route from Kalisz to Piotrków.

The location of the town contributed to the fact that it was a local economic center that attracted many settlers including Jews.

Józef Śmiałowski, the author of the town’s monograph writes: […] So-called Pstrokoński files include the first written record about Zduńska Wola. There are two interesting notes in the portfolios. The first one referring to the year 1394 is very concise and reads: Zduny Andreas Zduński, the second one mentions the same Andrzej as Andrzej from Zdun or Wola – Andreas de Zduny alias Wola […]. At the end of the 14th and 15th centuries Zduńska Wola became the center of the estates that were also called Zduńska Wola and they included such villages as Zduny, Paprotnia, Woźniki and Pstrokonie.

In the 19th century, Stefan Prawdzic-Złotnicki who was the heir of the Zduńsk Wola estates decided to take advantage of economic prosperity of that time and establish a town using the area of the present Zduńska Wola. In 1825, by virtue of the decree of Alexander I it received town rights.

Stefan Złotnicki spared no efforts to promote settlement of weavers in his estates before and after granting the town rights to Zduńska Wola. As a result, in 1815-1830, settlers from Silesia, Czech Republic, the Duchy of Poznań, Prussia and Saxony came to the region. At that time Zduńska Wola was undergoing a period of switching from small-scale production to manufacturing. Production for the local market developed substantially after some time and some manufacturers exported their goods even abroad, e.g. to Russia and China. Therefore the history of the town is closely connected with the process of industrialization that took place in the 1820s.



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