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Jewish families of Mława, Poland - הקהילה היהודית במלאווה, פולין

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Dedicated to the memory of 400 years of a Jewish community that was brutally annihilated by the Nazis, in WWII.

A sub-Project of Jewish Communities of Mozavia District, Poland

This project seeks to collect all of the Jewish families from the town of Mława, Poland.

Photo: Mlawa ghetto in World War II. Jewish men in forced labor.

Mława is situated in the Masovian Voivodeship in Poland. A village with the name of Mława dates back to the end of the 14th century with Jews having been cited living there already in 1507. With the third partition of Poland in 1795 Mława was annexed to Prussia and by 1807 was included in the principality of Warsaw. In 1815 it became part of the Polish Kingdom.

The Jewish population began to develop only in the nineteenth century at which time there were about 1500 Jewish families living in Mława.

During World War I, with an eruption of anti-Semitism, the Mława community suffered greatly. Incidents of violence grew and in 1937 guards were positioned at Jewish stores to prevent Christian customers from shopping. With this growing ostracism being practiced towards the Jews, shops started closing down, affecting the economy.

Mława was occupied by Germany from 1915 and stayed under German rule until the end of WWI. Several weeks before the outbreak of WWII, many Polish army units took positions in Mława, which was near the border with Germany, making the atmosphere very tense. As a result many of the wealthy Jews left and moved to Warsaw. In 1940, 3000 Jews were sported to Dzialdowo, Lublin and other ghettos. Mława was completely sealed in 1941 with 1000 Jews from Szrensk, Radazanow and Zielun accommodated I. Two windmills in the ghetto area. The population now reached 5,000.

Public execution

The first public execution in Mława took place in April, 1942, where four young men were hanged for their treason of smuggling. People were brought in from other ghettos, Stzegowo, Circhanow and Makow Mazowiecki and in November of that year the first deportation of the elderly and sick was carried out. No carry on luggage was permitted. It is assumed they were all deported to Treblinka.

The Nazis destroyed the Mława Jewish Cemetery, removing tombstones and making pillars that were installed in the German camps.

After the third deportation on 17 November 1942, Mława's ghetto was left with several hundred Jews only, allowing for the transfer of 5,000 from Makow Mazowiecki, and 1,000 from Stzegowo. All of them, now between six and seven thousand Jews were deported to Auschwitz within probably three transports, the last taking place in the December of 1942.

The few Jews who were left alive in Auschwitz until 1943 took part in a group for self aid for former residents of Ciechanow and environs, as well as the resistance movement of the camp. Only two managed to escape and informed the world what was happening at Auschwitz. By the time the war ended only ca. 40 Jews from Mława survived the camps.

By the year 1946, there were still 10 Jews living in Mława. These 10 men and women felt that it was of their duty to take out the corpses from the scattered graves, and buried them near the common grave of the 50 young victims of the execution of 17.6.1942. At this place they built a memorial monument and, a fence enclosed the area.

In August of 1946, the last Jews of Mława left the town.