The first arrival of Jews in Lubraniec took place in 1691. The development of the town in the 17th century was connected with the attitude of the town authorities. If it had not been for their support, an independent kehilla would not have been established in the 18th century. It was inhabited by 249 people in 1765[1.1]. The following decades encountered the kehilla’s growth and at the beginning of the 20th century it numbered about 1,000 people. In the interwar period, there lived approximately 800-850 Jews. It included Lubraniec and the Piaski community[1.2].
The Jews participated actively in the economic life of the town. In 1928, out of 117 craft workshops, 70 (60%) belonged to Jews, 62 (92%) out of a total of 65 business enterprises and 66 (90%) out of 73 industrial enterprises were also owned by Jews.
Szyja Chaim Płoński, Mojsze Aron Dojszen, Mendel Rozen and Abram Iwanowicz were the leaders of the community until 1924. After the election from 1 June 1924, the board included Chaim Szajewicz, Chaim Judzki, Jacob Brzustowski, Icek Eliasz Auerbach (the deputies: Mojsze Aron Dojszen, Fajwisz Pieprzyński, Szmul Efroim Płoński, Mordka Iwanowicz). The outcome of the next election (1931-1936) looked like this: Szoel Alje Ajzyk (president), Lejb Fordoński, Jojne Klusko, Pejsach Bobrownicki, Mordka Iwanowicz, Wolf Icek Piotrowski (until 1935, later Zelig Szmidt), Chaim Mordka Jadkowski, Hersz Frankenberg (until 1935, later David Lubiński). The make-up of the board in 1936 was as follows: Icek Zajączkowski (president), Szyja Chaim Płoński, Jacob Brzustowski, Chaim Mojsze Garnuszek, Szyja Krakowski, David Lubiński, Szoel Alje Ajzyk, and Wolf Osięciński. In 1931, seats in the board were divided in this way: Orthodox obtained one seat, “Bund” and “Poale Zion Right” – 5 seats and “Mizrachi” – 2 seats. In 1936, the nonpartisans had 5 members and 5 deputies, “Poale Zion Right” – 2 seats and one deputy, “Bund” – one seat and one deputy, in 1939 – Orthodox – 1, “Bund” – 3, nonpartisans – 1, General Zionists – 1 and “Poale Zion Right” – 2.
The community clerks were rabbis: Beer Haltrecht (the latter half of the 19th century), Chaim Ber Zylbercan (1909 - 1924), Ire Szapiro Klughaupt (1927-1939), slaughterers: Mendel Halpern, Jacob Goldman, Kowadło, Hercko Landau, secretary Chaim Kalma and cashier Icek Eliasz Auerbach. The community infrastructure consisted of a brick synagogue (from the late 18th century), bejt ha-midrasz/Beth Midrash, wooden bath house, brick lodging house, brick bird slaughterhouse and a 7.72 ha cemetery at the road leading to Topólka (Słowackiego Street), there were two farm buildings and the warden’s brick house by the cemetery, a cheder, and four lots of a total area of 2,808 square meters.
The demographic analysis is possible thanks to the population census from 17 January 1929. The Jews lived on Sienkiewicz Street (23.1%), Królewska Street (21.5%), 3rd May Square (16.7%), Kościuszki Street (11.8%), Brzeska Street (10.1%), Przejazd Street (5.9%), Raj Street (1.4%), Świętej Anny Street (3.4%), Stary Rynek Street (2.1%), Kujawska Street (2.2%), Ogrodowa Street (1%), Kaliska Street (0.7%) and Radziejowska Street (0.1%). The professionally active Jews were usually merchants (24%), tailors (19%), traders (15%), and shoemakers (15%). Not so numerous were house owners (4%), carters (4%), bakers (3%), whitesmiths (2%) and butchers (2%). The remaining professions made up a small group from 1% to as little as 0.5%[1.3].
In 1939, Lubraniec was populated by 880 Jews, in January 1940 by 988 (including 203 refugees), in January 1941 by 991. On 28 September and 9 November 1941, 762 Jews (including 232 men) were sent to the Łódź ghetto. The annihilation of the last 100 people took place in the spring of 1942. The first days of the war brought many refugees to Lubranies, mostly from Włocławek, Osięcin, Aleksandrów, and Służewo. The Help Committee was formed that provided help delivered by both the local parish and the Jewish community. Food was given out in the “bet ha-midrasz”. The German occupation of the town began on 10 September 1939. People, including Moszek Elizere Tajtbojm, were taken hostage. Many regulations were introduced that forbade the Jews to do many things, for example, they were allowed to move freely in the town for only one hour. Torturing the Jews was something that the Germans did on a daily basis. One of the “games” the Germans played consisted in herding a group of people to the Zgłowiączka River where they were kept neck-high under water for a longer time. The rabbi fell victim to the persecutions too. When super mayor Hans Cramer came from Włocławek, the community was laid under contribution that amounted to 70,000 zlotys. After arrival of land commissioner Szmidt, another contribution was laid (10,000 zlotys), which was to be paid immediately on behalf of the whole community by rabbi Klukow and members of the community board. The pillaging of Jewish property began and they were assigned a hard, dirty and humiliating work. A granary was created in the synagogue. In June 1941, men were sent to labor camps to Poznań. In the fall of 1941, mainly women and kids were taken to the Łódź ghetto. Until February-March 1942, a labor unit in Lubraniec included 15 men: three men from the Frankenbergs, Szmul Satanowski, Zalman Dojszen, Benjamin Tabaczyński, Szyja Chaim Płoński, Zelig Szmidt, Chaim Kalman, Max Szajewicz, and Abram Józefowicz. They were clearing up the area where the displaced persons once lived. Once the work was done, they were sent to Chełmno on the Ner. After the war, some individuals settled down here and established the Central Committee of the Polish Jews. In 1946, there were eight people, in 1947 – 4, in 1948 and at the beginning of 1946 – 6, in December 1949 – only one person remained[1.4].
- [1.1] Jarosław Dumanowski, Lubraniec w XVIII w. - żydowskie miasteczko i stolica magnackich włości, „Kwartalnik Historii Żydów”, 2003, no. 3, p. 435-443.
- [1.2] Szerzej o dziejach społeczności w XVIII i XIX w.: „Jiwo Bletter”, 1935, t. 8, nr 4; Wloclawek we ha Sewiwa. Sefer Zikkaron, ed. Kasryel Fiszel Tchursz, Meir Korzen (bmw) 1967, s. 781-793.
- [1.3] Tomasz Kawski, Ludność żydowska na Kujawach wschodnich i w ziemi dobrzyńskiej w okresie międzywojennym (1918-1939), „Zapiski Kujawsko-Dobrzyńskie”, 1999, t. 13, s. 127-178; Tomasz Kawski, Gminy żydowskie pogranicza Wielkopolski, Mazowsza i Pomorza w latach 1918 – 1942, „Wydawnictwo Naukowe GRADO”, Toruń 2007, p. 151-154, 382-406; Tomasz Kawski, Kujawsko-dobrzyńscy Żydzi w latach 1918-1950, „Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek”, Toruń 2006, passim; Władysław Kubiak, Żydzi w Lubrańcu. Z dziejów Lubrańca, Włocławek 2002. Szereg uzupełnień i sprostowań ostatniej publikacji zawarto w recenzji Tomasz Kawskiego, która ukazała się na łamach „Kwartalnika Historii Żydów”, 2004, no 1, p. 93-100.
- [1.4] Tomasz Kawski, Gminy żydowskie..., p. 153-154; ; Tomasz Kawski, Kujawsko-dobrzyńscy..., p. 239-283.