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Zgierz

Polska / łódzkie

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Summary

Province:łódzkie / łódzkie (before 1939)
County:zgierski / łódzki (before 1939)
Community:Zgierz / (before 1939)
Other names:Zgerzh זגערזש [jidysz]
'זגירז' זגייז [j. hebrajski]
Zgezh Згеж [j. rosyjski]
Görnau [j. niemiecki]
 
GPS:
51.8548° N / 19.4061° E
51°51'17" N / 19°24'22" E

Location

Kamila Klauzińska

Zgierz is located in the valley of Bzura River in the Łódź Uplands. The city belongs to the Łódź agglomeration, which is inhabited by more the one million inhabitants. Zgierz is inhabited by 58,1 thousand people.

Zgierz has a convenient tram connection with Łódź, and a railway connection with Warszawa. There is a A2 highway, north of Zgierz. There are also roads throughout the city, connecting among others, Gdańsk and Gdynia with the southern part of Poland.

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History

Kamila Klauzińska

The first written record concerning Jews in Zgierz appeared in a document from 1822. It is a declaration of elder Jewish communities considering matters and privileges of such people in Zgierz. In official city documents information concerning Jews appeared in 1813. These are the letters of a sub-prefect of the Zgierz district and the mayor of Zgierz regarding the right of the Orthodox Jews to buy houses here.

In 1818 the commissar of the Łęczyca district spoke with the mayor of Zgierz and demanded the foundation of a separate Jewish district. The mayor’s answer consisted of a plan seperating Christians and Jews. Jews were prohibited to settle in the market square, but were allowed to settle in Sowia Street, which had been considerably remote from the city center. Those Jews who owned houses in the city center were forced to sell them quickly to Christians. If they hadn’t done so, their whole property might have been confiscated.

The Warsaw authorities regulations sent also to other cities of the Congress Kingdom designated the restrictions for Jews in larger Polish cities. However, the cities which had just started to develop, couldn’t have managed without Jews and their economic contributions. Exactly such a situation occurred in Zgierz. The economic development of the city began even earlier in Łódź.

In 1822 the Jews were playing an important role in the city economy. Among professions, which were occupied by Jews, we can mention: a shechita, tavern-keeper, restaurant-keepers, shop-keepers, merchants, glazier, workers, shoe-maker, judge, hair-dresser and bailiff.

On the 30th of March 1821 the commissar Witkowski of the Administrative Department of Mazowieckie Province Board accompanied by German industrialists came to Zgierz where they signed an agreement concerning the foundation of a textile industry center in Zgierz. The 44 main points and 6 detailed ones determined the conditions of the settling of drapers in Zgierz. According to this agreement every settler was to receive a construction site and a garden. According to the same agreement, Jews were not allowed to live in the New Town. It designated that they should settle along the western side of Łódzka Street up to Rudnicka Street.

On 21st December 1824 there was a decree issued concerning the creation of the Jewish district. Those who we

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