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Polska / mazowieckie

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Province:mazowieckie / kieleckie (before 1939)
County:zwoleński / kozienicki (before 1939)
Community:Zwoleń / Zwoleń (before 1939)
Other names:
51.3555° N / 21.5877° E
51°21'19" N / 21°35'15" E


Krzysztof Urbański

Zwoleń – a town situated in Mazowieckie Province, the seat of Zwoleń County and Zwoleń urban and rural Municipality. It has 8.054 inhabitants (2008).

It lies on the Zwolanka River, 30 km from Radom, at the intersection of two routes: Radom – Puławy and Sandomierz – Lipsko – Warka – Warszawa.

Vast areas of forests that merged with the Kozienice Forests straddled a few kilometers away from the town centre. The town was chartered in the area of Gotardowa Wola village.



Krzysztof Urbański

cmentarz żydowski w Zwoleniu | nieznany

In 1554, two Jews were listed in the town, in 1567 as few as three Jews inhabited Zwoleń but their number continuously grew. A privilege of December 1591 stipulated that the Jews could own up to 10 houses, but, on the other hand, they could trade and use the prayer house without restrictions of any kind. King Zygmunt III allowed them to possess 20 houses, which was provided for in a privilege issued on 22 August 1615.

In 1661, there were eight Jewish houses, 20 debt collectors, Jewish bakers, alcoholic beverages producers and vendors. The Jews who lived there in 1671 complained that the town incessantly fell pray to robberies of marching soldiers.

An organized kehilla emerged in the 1590s. A wooden synagogue was erected after 1591, a cemetery was situated on a hill at the left bank of the river, far from the compact buildings. During the November Uprising, the cemetery suffered serious damages. The Russian army demolished and used the wooden fencing, wooden pre-burial house and wooden ohels as fuel materials.

In 1834, a huge fire destroyed Zwoleń. The synagogue, which was also damaged, was reconstructed in the same year.

In 1864, 2894 people, who lived in 325 houses (of which 93% were wooden), populated the town. 338 residents (including 88 craftsmen, 18 tradesmen, 12 inn keepers and 220 farmers) were economically active.

In the year 1907, Zwoleń had 7266 inhabitants and 545 (505 wooden) houses. In 1915, 131 shops, excluding booths and stalls, operated within the town.  

The regained independence was conductive to the development of the town. In 1921, 3787 Jews (51.2 % of the whole population) lived there. In the period between 1918 and 1939, the number of houses grew by 30% but still there was the lack of paved streets, sidewalks and lighting. The prestige of a town was dependent on trade and small craft, which provided products for the needs of the neighboring villages. The People’s Bank, Cooperative Credit Bank and Trade-Cooperative Fund offered loans to people.

Some more important businesses conducted in 1929/1939 by Jews included sheet metal workshops of M. Diament, N. Feldberg, M. Frydman, hairdressing salons of  J. Breslauer, G. Szlaferman, photographer’s shops of K. Rapaport, G. Szlaferman, tanneries of M. Goldfarb, K. Kuperberg, Ch. Wajngrot, potter’s workshops of


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