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Jewish Families from or connected to Gnesen Gniezno Prussia Wagrowiec Poland

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This project was created to identify and collect Jewish individuals and families from the small town of Gnesen or Gniezno in the Wagrowiec Area of Poland. Gnesen is located at 52 Degrees, 33 Minutes North, 17 Degrees, 36 Minutes East. Nearby are Witkowo, 11 miles SE, Skoki, 20 Miles WNW, Swarzedz, 24 Miles WSW and Wagrowiec, 24 Miles NW. It was in the Grand Duchy of Prussia in the 1835 era, and in the country of Poland for many years.

Lengthy material is available about this town on the site . Accessed March 1, 2021. Quoted in part.

"The life of the Jewish community of Gniezno changed considerably after the annexation of the town to Prussia. Pressure from the new administration forced many poor Jews to leave the town at the turn of the 19th century. They were replaced by Jews from towns in Greater Poland, Prussia, and Pomerania. Thanks to the influx of the newcomers, the local community, previously holding close to the Jewish tradition, started to open up to reforms promoted by the Haskalah movement. In 1834, “naturalised” Jews made up a community of 138 people, including 28 persons exempt from the obligation to use the German language. In 1825, the community was set to undergo a major administrative change. However, the new community statute, despite pressures from the progressive circles, preserved the former organisational structure, with all traditional institutions and a complex electoral system developed in the 16th and 17th century. This shows that at the time the community was still chiefly conservative.

The pressure from the supporters of Reform Judaism and openly pro-German circles was becoming greater and greater. After the adoption of its new statute in 1837, they gained significant influence on the operation of the community. The 1840s saw the introduction of sermons delivered in German, the adoption of synagogue regulations (1846), limited terms of rabbis (since 1847), and the formation of a choir (1847). In order to weaken the position of the conservatives, it was prohibited to hold religious services on the Sabbath and holidays outside the synagogue. Pro-reform members of the community board removed Rabbi Heiman Hirsch from his post, as he did not speak German. However, the opponents of Progressive Judaism adamantly opposed the changes. During the consecration ceremony of the new synagogue in 1846, a twenty-person police unit was called in to prevent any clashes. The communal authorities imposed a number of punishments and fines on people refusing to obey the new regulations. In 1850, the Orthodox chairman of the community board was sentenced to six weeks in prison for assaulting the reformist co-chairman during a service at the synagogue. The power of the Progressives was to be solidified by the new rabbi, Dr Julius Gebhardt, appointed in 1847. However, he did not stay in Gniezno for long, as Orthodox Jews had once again taken control over the community board. Wishing to break the spirits the rabbi, they stopped paying out his salary. Thus, in 1852 Rabbi J. Gebhardt left Gniezno and moved to Bydgoszcz. His successor, Schaye Pulvermacher, supported traditional Judaism. However, the subsequent rabbis holding the post after 1864 were all university graduates with a thorough secular education, which bore evidence to the ultimate victory for the advocates of reforms.

The events of the years 1847–1848 had a significant impact on the pro-German leanings of Gniezno Jews in the second half of the 19th century. At the time, a number of riots of Polish citizens against Jewish traders took place. Shops, warehouses, granaries, and residential houses owned by Jews were plundered. What triggered the violence was the rapid increase in food prices and general poverty of the local population. The distribution of the Jewish population among the town’s districts changed significantly after the fire of the Jewish quarter in 1819.[1.8]

In the 19th century, a lot of Jewish organisations supporting the activities of the community board were established in Gniezno. Education played an important role in the town. Cheders were gradually losing their prominence as primary facilities of elementary education. Yeshivot were closing down, replaced by schools recognised by state authorities. One of them was the Jewish Religious School. In 1903, it was attended by 91 students. The rest went to the People’s School. Before the outbreak of World War I, it had 50 Jewish pupils. Among the Jewish organisations active in Gniezno were[1.9]:

Jewish Funeral Brotherhood (Izraelickie Bractwo Pogrzebowe) Jewish Charitable Brotherhood (Izraelickie Bractwo Dobroczynne) Brethren’s Association (Związek Braterski) “Humanitas” Jewish Association (Izraelicki Związek ‘Humanitas’) Jewish Association for Nursing the Sick (Izraelicki Związek Pielęgnowania Chorych) Jewish Women’s Association (Izraelicki Związek Kobiet) Jewish Young Women’s Association (Izraelicki Związek Młodych Kobiet) Association for the Cultivation of Jewish History and Literature (Związek Pielęgnowania Żydowskiej Historii i Literatury) “Friedenloge No. 4” Masonic Lodge Jacob, Salome, and Ella Hirszberg Foundation Samuel Jaffe and Josef Heilborn Foundation The 19th century saw considerable demographical changes in the community. In the first half of the century, the Jewish population of Gniezno was gradually growing, reaching ca. 2,000 people. However, an opposite trend started to emerge over the following decades, becoming more and more pronounced as the time went on. The community was mainly shrinking as a result of migration. Jews would leave for the United States and larger German towns. The trend further intensified in the interwar period.

After Gniezno was incorporated into Poland, most indigenous Jews left the town and migrated to Germany. They were replaced by Jews arriving from inner Polish territories. The encounter of newcomers with local Jews, living in the town for many years, provoked frictions and conflicts which cast a shadow on the operation of the community over the following twenty years. In 1936, the newcomers founded the “Gemilut Chesed” Jewish Interest-Free Loan Fund (Żydowska Kasa Bezprocentowych Pożyczek ‘Gemiłus Chesed’). Most Jewish children attended the Evangelical common school. However, many of the families arriving to Gniezno were religious, and thus their children went to the cheder, with Icek Warszawski working as the teacher. Changes were soon introduced to the administrative structure of the community. All Jewish communities from the former Prussian territories had to be reorganised to comply with the 1919 regulations on the status of Jewish self-government in the Second Republic of Poland. In 1932, the Gniezno community was extended in connection with the administrative changes introduced in kehillot of Poznańskie Province and Pomorskie Province. The community gained jurisdiction over the Jewish population living in the towns of Gniezno County, in Kłecko, and Czerniejewo.[1.10]

Following the occupation of Greater Poland by German troops in 1939, the Jewish community of Gniezno met its tragic end. In October and November of the same year, small groups of Jews from the counties of Inowrocław, Gniezno, Szubin, Wagrowiec were resettled to Gniezno. In December 1939, most of them were deported to Piotrków Trybunalski in the Radom District of the General Government. One group was most probably sent in Łódź.[1.11]

BIBLIOGRAPHY Dąbrowska D., “Zagłada skupisk żydowskich w „Kraju Warty” w okresie okupacji hitlerowskiej,” Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego 1955, no. 13–14. Guldon Z., Wijaczka J., “Ludność żydowska w Wielkopolsce w drugiej połowie XVII wieku,” [in:] Żydzi w Wielkopolsce na przestrzeni dziejów, eds. J. Topolski, K. Modelski, Poznań 1995. Guldon Z., Wijaczka J., “Osadnictwo żydowskie w województwach poznańskim i kaliskim w XVI–XVII wieku,” Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego 1992, no. 2–3. Heppner A., Herzberg I., Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Juden in den Posener Landen, Koschmin – Bromberg 1904–1908. Kemlein S., Żydzi w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskim 1815–1848. Przeobrażenie w łonie żydostwa polskiego pod panowaniem pruskim, Poznań 2001. Skupień A., Ludność żydowska w województwie poznańskim w latach 1918–1938, Poznań 2007. Warschauer A., Geschichte der Stadt Gnesen, Posen 1918."

Source International Jewish Cemetery Project Accessed March 1, 2021.

"GNIEZNO: Wielkopolska

Alternate names: Gniezno [Pol], Gnesen [Ger], Gnesna [Lat], Gnezno, 52°33' N, 17°36' E, 28 miles ENE of Poznań (Posen). Jewish population: 1,482 (in 1885). Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), II, pp. 630-637: "Gniezno". This city in central-western Poland, some 50 km Eof Poznań, with population of about 70,000 people was the first capital of Poland. Situated in the Greater Poland Voivodeship (since 1999), previously in Poznań Voivodeship, it is the administrative capital of the Gniezno County (powiat). Jacob Caro, German Jewish historian, was born here on February 2, 1835.

182. III 22 Gnesen, Pinkas (record book) of the Chevra Baalei Hamisakim Ubikur Cholim (Burial Society and society for visiting the sick), 1858, with list of deaths, 1841-92. Source: LBI.

GNESEN GOCH: Cemetery list Source: LBI GNIEZNO I: US Commission No. POCE00449 Alternate German name: Gnesen. Gniezno in woj Pornauskia 52º33 17º36, 45 km to Poznan. Location: ul. Chrobrego. Present town population is 25,000 to 100,000 with no Jews.

Town: Urzad Meyski, ul. Lecha 6, tel 2020. Regional: Wojenodzke Konservator Zabytow. 61-716 Poznan, ul. Kosciuszki 93, tel 696464. Interested: Tow Mitosniliow, Geniezna The earliest known Jewish community was the second half of the 14th century. 1937Jewish population was 152. This Conservative cemetery was established around 1826. The isolated flat urban land, with no sign or marker, but a new fence and no gate, is reached by turning directly off a public road,. No stones are visible. Municipality owns property used for storage of town clean-up accessories with adjoining residential property. Security, Weather erosion, and pollution are very serious threats.

Pniewski Rawomin, Poznan, ul. Prij-??byorewskiyo 41/3? completed survey and visited site August 1991 with documentation from Heppner, A., and Herzberg, J., Aus Vergangenheit und Gegen. Die Juden und die judischen gemeinden in den Posener Landen, 1905-79, with photos.

GNIEZNO II: US Commission No. POCE00450

The cemetery is located at ul. Roosevelta. See Gniezo I for town information. No date was given for the establishment of this cemetery. The suburban land, separate but near other cemeteries has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, a continuous masonry wall and a non-locking gate surrounds. No stones are visible. The cemetery was vandalized during World War II. Municipality owns property used for a school and apartment houses with adjoining recreational and residential property. There is no maintenance. See Gniezno I for survey information.

GNIEZNO III: US Commission No. POCE00463 For additional information see Gniezno I. The cemetery is located at ul. Koseiuszki. See Gniezo I for town details. No date was given for the establishment of this cemetery. The isolated urban flat land and hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall or fence. No stones are visible. Municipality owns property. Current use is illegible on survey (possibly nursery). The adjacent properties are residential. Pniewski visited in 1991."

On JewishGen Family Finder JGFF we find 62 Researchers with contact information and search queries for about 25 individual family names connected to the Town of Gniezno. Accessed March 1, 2021.

On Yad Vashem database we find victims from many similar place names so an exact count is not possible, but it is estimated that 100 individuals from Gnesen perished in the Holocaust. This reflects the migration of Jewish people from the countryside into the cities such as Berlin.

Edward David Luft published The Naturalized Jews of the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1834 and 1835, Revised Edition, Compiled, 2004, Avotaynu. It's a paperback available for ~$50 US. It lists 65 Individuals who were granted naturalized status on February 11, 1834 in Gnesen. Example: Simon Brass, a Leher=teacher or instructor. Example: Dr. of Medicine Wilhelm Cohnstein. Example Hirsch Cohnheim, Leher. Please refer to the Geni Profile for Eduard Heinrich Flottwell, the instigator of the Naturalization project, for more details of this action. Heinrich EDUARD von Flottwell

On JewishGen Jewish Records Poland JRI-Poland we find the following information: Archive Coordinator, Poznan Archive Project Nicole Heymans Gniezno Town Leader, Poznan Archives Project Nicole Heymans Gniezno Town Leader, Poznan Archives Project — Standesamt 1874-1904 Nicole Heymans LDS (Mormon Microfilms) More Info Location Years Available Type Film# 1271464 1840 - 1841 BMD Film# 719426 1840 - 1847 BMD Polish State Archives (Some years may also be in LDS films) More Info Location Years Available Type Archive 53 Fond 3576 1823 - 1845 B Archive 53 Fond 3576 1840 - 1845 M Archive 53 Fond 3576 1840 - 1845 D Archive 53 Fond 3576 1847 - 1848 D Archive 53 Fond 3576 1847 - 1848 M Archive 53 Fond 3576 1847 - 1848 B

From the Jewish Encyclopedia 1906 In the public domain: Gnesen: According to a legendary account a synagogue existed at Gnesen as early as 905. At the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century the Jews of Gnesen paid large taxes to the king. In 1499 Cardinal-Archbishop Frederick protected them against the exorbitant demands of the Jewish tax-collector; in 1567 they were given two royal letters of protection, one relating to the woolen trade, and the other regarding taxes unjustly collected from them; and four years later a Jew was placed under the exclusive jurisdiction of the king.

In 1582 the Jews made a contract for the construction of a synagogue, and in 1660, on the oath of one of the elders of the community, the king granted them a copy of their earlier privileges, which had been destroyed in a fire in 1637, as well as a general confirmation of their privileges. In 1654 Jesuit students plundered the Jews' street; and two years later some Jews were slain. The statute concerning tailors dates from 1779, Christian merchants being exempted by their statutes from receiving Jews into their gilds. The community of Posen raised a relief fund for its Gnesen brethren after the fire of 1710. In 1819 the archives were burned. In 1744 there were only 60 Jews in the city; but in 1793, when the Prussians took possession, there were 685, including 53 tailors, 10 butchers, and 6 furriers. By 1800 the Jewish population of Gnesen had increased to 761, and by 1857 to 1,750; but in 1900 it numbered only 1,179. The synagogue was built in 1846.

The following rabbis have officiated at Gnesen:

Benjamin, director of a Talmudic school (1560): Uri Lipmann Ḥefeẓ b. Israel Seligmann (1588); Abraham b. Judah ha-Levi (1605); Samuel (c. 1608); Enoch b. Abraham (1647, 1656); Mordecai (c. 1780); Joel Heilprin (c. 1820); Gebhardt (1847-52); M. S. Zuckermandl (1867); M. Horovitz (1875-78); N. Ehrenfeld and M. Jacobson (since 1890). The community has numbered among its members liturgical poets, halakic codifiers, and authors of responsa.

Another list of Rabbi from the BHR1 includes the following people: Joseph Caro; Julius Gebhardt; Abraham Gedalia; Joel Heilbronn; Heiman Hirsch; Gabriel Kohn; Joseph Labaszynski; Menachem Landau; Jacob Meklenburg; Arthur Posner; Moses Lewin; Heinrich Krausz; Moses Jacobson; Marcus Horovitz; Nathan Enrenfeld; Julius Cohn; Solomon Chodowski; Isador Caro; Eduard Baneth; Isaak Bamberger; Moses Sugaralmond; Moses Waldstein; Salomon Wälder; Isaiah Powdermaker.