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Jewish Families From or Connected to Gostynin, Masovia, Plock, Poland

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Jewish Families from or connected to Gostynin, Masovian, Plock, Poland

The earliest mention of the Jewish community of Gostynin in historical sources dates back to the 15th century. In 1626, the local brewery and malt-house were leased by a Jew. It was also in the 15th century that a wave of accusations regarding ritual murders allegedly committed by the Jewish community swept through the town.

The Jewish community was most likely established in the first half of the 18th century. Its members were primarily involved in trade, inn-keeping and crafts, predominantly tailoring, furriery and butchery[1.1].

The wooden synagogue located on Olszowa Street burnt down in 1809. After its reconstruction, it was once again destroyed in a fire in 1899. A new brick building was erected to replace it. The synagogue and prayer house were located near the marketplace. The Jewish entrepreneurs held a monopoly on the local trade. In 1898, only one major Polish-owned shop and several minor stalls operated alongside numerous “Jewish” shops. Before the introduction of monopoly on liquor, Jews ran 36 inns selling alcohol. When Gostynin became one of the localities situated alongside the new road connecting Płock with Kutno, Jews were the first to launch a regular omnibus service between the two towns (in 1867). It was also a Jewish man who in 1925 launched the first permanent car service operating between Łódź and Warsaw. His name was Motyl, though he was widely known as “Czerwony” (“Red”). He carried out his services in partnership with Jan Marcinkowski and Antoni Galar. Many Jewish people were involved in smuggling goods across the Prussian border.

In the 19th century, several hosiery production plants were opened in Gostynin. The largest of them, owned by Abraham Mosze, employed around 20 workers[1.2]. In the years 1823–1862, a Jewish district existed in the town. It was very crowded, with Jewish houses built extremely close to one another.

In 1866, there was a total of 178 houses in Gostynin, 29 out of which belonged to Jews. An average of 22.4 people lived in a “Polish” house, 12 in a “German” house, and 23.1 in a “Jewish” house[1.3].

In the 19th century, Gostynin was an important centre of Hasidism. It was the seat of Tzaddik Jechiel Meir Lipszyc. On each anniversary of his death, his grave was visited by crowds of Hasidim.

The beginning of the 20th century saw the establishment of the illegal socialist “Achdut” organisation founded by activists of the Bund – its branch had been opened in Gostynin by Towie Jakubowicz (alias: Abraham Garbus). A drama club was also formed. However, it was not until World War I that more Jewish organisations became active in the town. Among these was a free diner, the Linas Hatsedek charity (1915), the Hatehiya (1915) and its subordinate institutions: the Hertzliya, the Maccabi Gymnastics and Sports Association, and the Habima drama club. A reading room was also opened in the I. L. Perec library. Działowski, a conductor who had arrived to the town from Łódź in 1915, established a choir in the town. The local Jewish theatre was thriving under the direction of Adam Domb.

After the restoration of Polish independence, branches of major Jewish political parties were opened in Gostynin. These were the Bund (leaders: Jakub Lejb Pinczewski, Szlomo Motyl, Abraham Zając), the Zionist Organisation in Poland, Agudath Israel, Poale Zion–Right (leaders: Szmuel Wolf Pinczewski, Jakow Zarchin, Kriszniewski, Towia Jakubowicz, Mosze Moryc), and Poale Zion–Left. Some Jews joined the illegal Polish Communist Party or the Communist Union of Polish Youth. The Hatehiya was dissolved after the formation of independent political parties. The free dinery was closed down. The interwar period also saw the establishment of trade unions of tailors, shoemakers, transport workers, domestic workers, and hairdressers.

Jakow Miller, a chazzan well respected in Gostynin, migrated to America in 1920. Rabbi Silman died in early 1921. The process of selecting the new rabbi was marked by fierce competition between the Hasidic and the Orthodox community united against Zionists. It was the latter group which eventually pushed their candidate through. The post of the rabbi was given to Borensztajn from Bielsk, a supporter of the Zionist ideology. The Bund branch operating in the town ran a number of sister associations: Zukunft, Skif, and the Morgenstern sports club. Poale Zion had its own club and a sports team. The Agudath financed the operation of the Beit Yaakov religious school for girls. Jewish emigres from Gostynin established their landsmanshaft in New York[1.4].

At the beginning of the 1940, soon after the outbreak of World War II, there were 1,600 local Jews and ca. 650 displaced Jewish people living in Gostynin. On 15 March 1941, a ghetto was established in the town, with a total area of 1.5 ha. It was located in a square area delineated by Olszowa Street (now Kardynała Wyszyńskiego Street), Piłsudskiego Street (up to the Skrwa river), Bagnista Street (running from the marketplace) and the right-hand side of Zamkowa Sreet. Ca. 3,500 people were held in the ghetto. They were mainly citizens of Gostynin and neighbouring towns, such as Gąbin. Some worked in tailoring and lingerie factories, while others performed agricultural, construction, and cleaning works. They received food rations which bordered on starvation. A ration per person consisted of 250g of bread and 100g of fat per week, 250g of sugar per month, and a quarter of a litre of skimmed milk. People who worked outside the ghetto, in a labour camp for Jews, received extra 250g of bread. Some of the Germans most cruel in their treatment of Jews were Jacob Pohl (owner of a store selling metal products), Buder, Gustav Baum Arendt (partner at the company Arendt & Wilhelm, Hoch- und Tiefbau), Gustav Ilichmann, Weiland (head of the labour office), and Hein (shoemaker)[1.5]. People who died in the camp were buried in Wola Łącka. In March 1942, a group of Jews from the Gostynin Ghetto was transported to Konin. The others were eventually transported to the Chełmno (Kulmhof) camp and executed on 7 April 1942. Only a small group remained in the town. The final liquidation of the ghetto took place in August 1942. Its residents were taken to the Łódź Ghetto[1.6].

A branch of the Central Committee of Polish Jews was founded in Gostynin after the war. Its board was composed of Abram Dziegański and Lejb Bagno. On 30 January 1946, there were 44 people registered in the Committee. There is no information on the further history of Jews from Gostynin. It can be assumed that most of them left Poland over the following years.



Gostynin is a town in Central Poland with 19,414 inhabitants. It is situated in the Masovian Voivodship since 1999 and was previously in the Płock Voivodship from 1975 to 1998. It is the capital of Gostynin County. Gostynin has a long and rich history, which dates back to the early Middle Ages. (Wikipedia)

Not to be confused with Gostyn/Gostingen, near Leszno, formerly in Prussia, for which there is a separate Project.

The Jewish commune of Gostynin is assumed to have been established in the first half of the 18th century. Its members were primarily involved in trade, inn-keeping and crafts, predominantly tailoring, furriery and butchery. A wooden synagogue, located on Olszowa Street, burnt down in 1809. After its reconstruction, it burnt down again in 1899. A new, brick built one was then constructed. The synagogue and prayer house were located near the marketplace. The Jewish entrepreneurs held a monopoly on local trade. In 1898, there was only one major ‘Polish’ shop and a few minor stalls alongside a number of ‘Jewish’ shops. Before the implementation of the vodka monopoly, 36 taprooms belonged to Jews. When the road from Płock to Kutno, running through Gostynin, was built, the first to launched a regular omnibus service between the towns were Jewish people, in 1867. It was also a Jewish man who launched the first permanent car service, running to Łódź and Warsaw, in 1925. His name was Motyl, though he was commonly called ‘Red’ <i>(“Czerwony”),</i> and he was in partnership with Jan Marcinkowski and Antoni Galar. Many people were involved in smuggling across the Prussian border. In the 19th century, there were several hosiery manufactures operating in Gostynin. The largest of them, owned by Abraham Mosze, employed around 20 workers. In the period between 1823-1862, something resembling a Jewish district existed. It was very crowded and the Jewish houses were desperately lacking in space. In 1866, 29 out of 178 town houses belonged to Jews. One house literally fell on 22.4 ‘Polish’ citizens, 12 ‘German’ citizens and 23.1 ‘Jewish’ citizens. Gostynin was an important Hasidic center in the 19th century. Jechiel Meir Lipszyc, a rabbi tzadik, worked there. On the anniversary of his death, his grave drew crowds of Hasidim to Gostynin. At the beginning of the 20th century, Achdut, a socialist party established by Bundu activists, functioned illegally in Gostynin. Towie Jakubowicz (pseudonym: Abraham Garbus) was the party’s founder there. A theatre group was also formed. However, organizations active in Jewish society did not begin to emerge until the First World War During the war, the organizations which appeared were the free eating-house, Linas Hacedek (1915), a charitable Jewish organization, Hatechija (1915), with its organizationally connected branches: the Herclija, the Makabi Gymnastic-Sport Association, and the Habima drama circle; a reading room was also organized as a part of the I. L. Perec library. A conductor, who came to the town from Łódź in 1915, organized a choir. A local Jewish theatre, led by Adam Domb, the director, developed. After the restoration of Polish independence, branches of the major Jewish political parties were founded. These were Bund (leaders: Jakub Lejb Pinczewski, Szlomo Motyl, Abraham Zając), the Zionist Organization in Poland, Agudas Israel, Poalej Syjon–Right Wing (leaders: Szmuel Wolf Pinczewski, Jakow Zarchin, Kriszniewski, Towia Jakubowicz, Mosze Moryc) and “Poalej Syjon–Left Wing”. Those who had more radical views joined the illegal structures of the Polish Communist Party or the Communist Union of Polish Youth. When the independent parties became active, Hatechija was dissolved. The common eating-house was also closed. Other organizations established at that time were mainly trade unions, unting tailors, shoemakers, transport workers, household and hairdressers. In 1920, Jakow Miller, a respected khazan, migrated to America. At the beginning of 1921, the rabbi Silman died. The rabbinic election followed in the wake of strong competition between the Hasidic and Orthodox community versus Zionism supporters. It was this last group which finally pushed their candidate through. Hence, Borensztajn from Bielsk, supporting the national ideology, was elected for the post of rabbi. The Cukunft and Skif organizations, together with a sports club, Morgensztern, were associated with Bund, whilst the Polaje Syjon club and a sports team were linked with “Poalej Syjon”. Agudas Israel financed the Bejt Jakow religious school for girls. In New York, Jewish migrants established the Gostynin Association (Landsmanszaft). http://www.Sztetl.org.pl

JewishGen: http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/gostynin/gostynin.html

Jewish Records Index project: http://www.jri-poland.org/psa/gostynin_bor_surn.htm Records extracted by Geni researcher Julian.

Polish Jewry Remembrance site: http://www.zchor.org/GOSTYNIN.HTM

Jewish Cemetery notes, up to present day: http://www.kirkuty.xip.pl/gostynin.htm

From the International Jewish Cemetery Project, Accessed July 31, 2020:

GOSTYNIN: Mazovia Coat of arms of GostyninAlternate names: Gostynin [Pol, Rus], Gostinin [Yid], Russian: Гостынин. גאסטינין- Yiddish. 52°26' N, 19°29' E, 65 miles WNW of Warszawa, 12 miles SW of Płock. 1900 Jewish population: 1,831. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), II, pp. 749-751: "Gostynin". Yizkor: Pinkes Gostynin; yisker-bukh. (New York, 1960). A town in Central Poland with 19,414 inhabitants in 2004, Gostynin is in the Masovian Voivodship since 1999 and was previously in the Płock Voivodship from 1975 to 1998. It is the capital of Gostynin gmina. We Remember Jewish GOSTYNIN! The Jewish Communitydates from about 1765al though in 1626 Jews may have owned the town brewery and a malt factory. In 1779, a wooden synagogue was built near the Rynek (marketplace) that burned down in 1899. By the end of the 18th century, Jews were trademen, innkeepers, tailors, furriers, and butchers. Jewish population: 157 in 1765, 634 in 1856, 1,849 in 1897, and 1,831 (27.5%) in 1921. Between 1823 and 1862, a Jewish quarter was mandated. The old synagogue, destroyed by fire, was rebuilt in 1899 in the former Jewish lane and a side alley known as the "alley of the dead," recalling the location of the old Jewish cemetery. Cḥasidic leader and rabbi Jehiel Meir Lipschuetz lived in Gostynin in the 19th century. 2,269 Jews lived in Gostynin on the eve of WWII. In September 1939, mass arrests and attacks on Jews, looting of Jewish property commenced. Jews were ordered to cut up the old wooden synagogue into pieces and to carry them to German inhabitants for fuel. The synagogue and beit midrash were north of the Rynek where the train station now stands. The ghetto set up in Gostynin subsequently was surrounded by barbed wire. Forced labor was their occupation. In August 1941 transports of men and women were sent to labor camps in the Warthegau. The ghetto was liquidated on April 16-17, 1942; almost 2,000 Jews were sent toChelmno. By the end of the war, the cemetery had been destroyed. [May 2009]

The first records of the Jewish communitiy in Gostynin come from 1626 regarding the local Jewish brewery. In the second half of the 16th century is a record of Jews accused of ritual murder. According to Pawel Fijalkowski, well-known researcher of the Jewish region, in 1765, the town had 157Jews and in 1793, 110 Jews (26%). Over the years, their numbers steadily increased until 1862 when 785 Jews lived there and in 1897 - 1,849. The majority engaged in trade, tailoring, other occupations, and crafts. From 1823 to- 1862, a separate Jewish quarter existed. Synagogues and prayer houses were near the market where later, in the place, the bus station was built. In the 19th century, Gostynin become quite an important center of Chasidism with Jehiel Meir Lipszyc, rabbi and leader of the Hassidic community lived. After Nazi troops seized Gostyni, mass arrests of Jews and the looting of property followed. The synagogue was demolished, subject to high "contributions" demanded by the Nazis. In January 1941, between the streets Płock, Buczka, and Wojska Polskiego Bagnistą, the Nazis created a ghetto for about 3,500 Jews from Gostynin and nearby.The first deportation to a concentration camp took place in August 1941. The ghetto was liquidated in July and August (according to some sources - April) 1942. Most of its inhabitants were killed in the camp at Chelmno nad Nerem. [May 2009]

OLD CEMETERY: The first Jewish cemetery was established in the first half of the 18th century and was located in the NE of the city, probably near today's train station on a side street called "The Lane of the Dead". The cemetery did not survive to the present time. [May 2009]

NEW CEMETERY: The new Jewish cemetery was founded in Gostynin near the road leading to Kutno. During WWII, the Nazis devastated it and used the gravestones for constructing sidewalks. After the war, they disappeared from the sidewalks with their further fate unknown. The remains of the cemetery were destroyed completely in the 1970s during the construction of housing "Common". was located on Goscinna Street. No traces of either cemetery exist today, having been destroyed by the Nazis. The site on Goscinna Street is now owned by the Gostynin municipality and is occasionally cleared of grass and tree saplings. No burials have taken place WWII. Yizkor: Jewish Gostynin remembered has photos prior to the destruction of the cemetery. photos. [May 2009]

http://www.zchor.org/GOSTYNIN.HTM [June 2005]

US Commission No. POCE000617

Gostynin is located in region Plockie at 19º29 52º25. The address of the cemetery is Ulica Goscinna. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 people with no Jews.

Local: Urzad Miasta, Plac Wolnosci 26, tel. 3076. Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, 09-400 Plock Ulica Kolegialna 15. The earliest known Jewish community was around 1765. 1921 Jewish population was 1831. The Orthodox or Conservative last burial was between 1939 and 1945. The unlandmarked isolated suburban flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall or gate. The approximate size of the cemetery both before WWII and today is 83 ha. No mass graves. The municipality owns property used for the Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are recreational and residential. Rarely, private visitors or local residents visit. The cemetery was vandalized during World War II with no maintenance. Today, occasionally municipal authorities clear or clean. There are no structures within the cemetery. No threats.

Pawel Fijalkowski, 96-500, Sochaczew, Ulica Ziemowita 11, Tel.#: 227-91 completed this survey on November 11, 1991 using official register of Jewish Cemeteries of 1981. He visited in July 1991.

[UPDATE] Facebook page showing site of cemetery; no matzevot visible [March 2018