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Jewish Families of Wschowa (formerly Fraustadt)

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This project attempts to collect and identify the Jewish families of the town of Wschowa Fraustadt in the County of Fraustadt in 1834.

Wschowa, Poland 51°48' N 16°19' E 201 mi W of Warszawa

formerly

Fraustadt Posen Preußen Germany

The town of Wschowa is located in the south-eastern part of Lubuskie Province, at the crossing of national roads No. 12, 278 and 305.

The town belongs to the Wschowski County and it is the seat of urban and rural municipality of Wschowa.

Administratively, from 1975 to 1998 Wschowa belonged to Leszczyńskie Province, and in 1950-1975 to Zielonogórskie Province.

Before 1922 the town was under the Prussian rule, the Province of Poznań, Fraustadt County, in 1922-1939 it belonged to the border Province of Poznań – West Prussia, and from 1939 to the Province of Śląsk (Silesia), administrative district of Legnica, Fraustadt County.

Data on Jewish population in Wschowa come from the following sources:

A. Heppner, J. Herzberg, Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Juden und der jüdischen Gemeinden in den Posener Landen, Bromberg 1909, p. 402.

The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During Holocaust, ed. Elie Wiesel, Shmuel Spector, Geoffrey Wigider, Jerusalem 2001, p. 400.

A. Braune, Aus der Geschichte der Stadt Fraustadt, 1928, Judaicum Centre Archives in Berlin, 1,75 A Fr 6, No. 1, # 2858, sheet 3.

Year Jewish population approx. 1592 150 1775 214 1797 418 1817 648 1885 318 1928 145 1933 125 1939 44 1942 1

The best source for data on this town, as with many others in the area, is from the web site www.sztetl.org.pl .

The book The Naturalized Jews of the Grand Duchy of Posen in 1834 and 1835, Revised Edition, compiled by Dr. Edward David Luft and published by Avotaynu indicates that 107 persons were naturalized as citizens living in Fraustadt, of these six being women. In the 1834 era the town was in the County of Fraustadt along with Lissa (440 naturalized jews), Reysen (11), Storchnest (16), and Schlichtingsheim (17).

Yad Vashem database records 150 individuals who came from or lived in Fraustadt that perished in the Holocaust.

Additional Details of the town of Fraustadt may be found here:

http://www.xn--jdische-gemeinden-22b.de/index.php/gemeinden/e-g/644...

Additional details from the Archive site-Posen-West-Prussia section on Fraustadt: Fraustadt General information: First Jewish presence: late 1500s; peak Jewish population: 648 in 1810; Jewish population in 1933: 125 Summary: The first Jews of Fraustadt (present-day Wschowa, Poland) engaged in moneylending, a business from which Christians were banned by the Church. Throughout approximately the next 150 years, Jews were expelled from the town any time they tried to settle there. It was not until 1720, soon after the authorities reversed their policy on Jewish settlement, that a lasting Jewish community was established in Fraustadt. This community consecrated a cemetery in 1759. Built in 1798 on land owned by a community member, the town’s first synagogue burned down in 1801, during a fire that consumed most of Fraustadt. The community undertook its reconstruction in 1806, and it was completed three years later. When new fire and safety codes were instituted in 1880, however, the synagogue failed the inspection tests and was declared a hazard. Rather than undertaking the costly renovations, the community decided to tear down the synagogue and build a new one in its place. The cornerstone was laid in April 1885, and the synagogue was inaugurated in September of that year. An elementary school, founded in 1820, served the Jewish children of Fraustadt. In response to the difficult economic situation of the late 1800s, local Jews began to emigrate from Germany, a process that accelerated when the Nazis rose to power. On Pogrom Night, local SA troops set fire to the synagogue; crowds of locals watched as the building burned to the ground. The ruins were carted away shortly afterwards. As of this writing, there is no trace of there ever having been a synagogue in Fraustadt. Author / Sources: Moshe Finkel Sources: EJL, LJG, IAJGS www.sztetl.org.pl Located in: Posen-West-Prussia