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Jewish Families of Łódź, Poland

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This project aims to assemble all of the Jewish families from the city of Łódź.

We welcome collaborators. There are a lot of families to find and enter. Feel free to join the project and enter the names of families who lived in Łódź. Go to ACTIONS (top right of the profile) click on ADD TO PROJECT. Select the project name that appears from the responsive check box and then DONE.

The history of Łódź from Jewish Virtual Library

Jews began settling Lodz in the late 1700's. In 1793, there were 11 Jews living in Lodz. This number increased, by 1809 (while under Prussian Rule), to about 100 and to 259 in 1820. At that time, the Jewish community began to be organized and had built a synagogue. A cemetery was opened from 1811 until 1892, unfortunately it was destroyed in World War II.

Lodz fell under Russian control in the 1820's. During this time, Jewish factory owners, merchants, bankers, industrialists and blue-collar workers played an important role in developing Lodz's economy, and the city became an important industrial center.

Restrictions were placed on settling and owning property in the city, as well as selling liquor. The restrictions eased when it was announced that in 1827 Jews could buy building sites and could build and own homes in certain districts. The Jews, who were allowed to live in the city had to assimilate, i.e., speak Polish, French or German, send their children to general schools and forgo wearing traditional Jewish clothing.

In 1848, the Czar of Russia lifted the limitations on Jewish settlement in Polish cities. Decrees in 1861 and 1862 abrogated the concept of a separate Jewish Quarter in Lodz. Some Jews settled throughout the city, although many decided to remain in the former Jewish quarter, "Alstadt."

An orthodox synagogue, the Alte Shul or the Stara syagogue, was opened in 1860. Renovations took place in 1897, it was burned down in 1939 during the Nazi occupation of Lodz.

A reform synagogue opened in 1883. The wealthy, Jewish factory owner, I.K. Posnanski oversaw its construction. At the time, it was the largest structure in the heart of the city and was known as the "Great" Synagogue. It too was burned down in 1939 during the Nazi occupation.

A third synagogue, the Vilker Shul, was opened in 1899 and was demolished in 1939 with the rest of the synagogues.

By 1897, the Jewish population of Lodz numbered nearly 99,000.