Alternate names: Międzyrzecz [Pol], Meseritz [Ger], Meserici [Lat], Międzyrzecz Wielkopolski, Mesdirtz. 52°26' N, 15°35' E, 58 miles W of Poznań (Posen), on the Obra River. Jewish population: 377 (in 1880), 105 (in 1933). Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), VI, pp. 382-386: "Międzyrzecz". Międzyrzecz is a town in western Poland with 18,584 inhabitants in 2008 between the town of Skwierzyna and the town of Świebodzin at the confluence of the rivers Obra and Paklica and the capital of Międzyrzecz powiat that was part of the Gorzów Wielkopolski Voivodeship from 1975-1998. Amid extensive forests, storks, and twenty lakes, as of 1998, Międzyrzecz has been situated in the Lubusz Voivodeship. The Miedzyrzecz area has about 25,000 inhabitants. The first mention of Jews in Międzyrzecza comes from 1507, but they would have lived here before that date. The 1824 Jewish synagogue still stands at at ul. Piotra Skargi. website about Jewish Miedzyrzecz. The presence of the Jews threatened the Christian town of merchants and craftsmen, when in 1520 at the request of Sigismund I the townspeople asked to remove Jews from Międzyrzecza and that had to pay rent to the city. Reconfirmed in 1607, however, in 1563, Jews from Międzyrzecza paid 90 Bledzew ZLP pogłównego. 1565 surveys lists 18 Jewish homes, synagogues, and schools. Władysław IV confirmed the right of the synagogue in 1637 has defined its responsibilities to the city. In 1656, as in other cities, a pogrom supposedly in retaliation for the alleged Jewish collaboration with the Swedish aggressor hit the Jewish population. Many Jewish lives were lost, possibly 100 families and the house of prayer destroyed. In 1676, 143 Jews there (10%) were engaged in trade, tailoring, distilling, and bookbinding. Some had inns. In 1847, the Jewish population of 850 decreased steadily to 377 in 1880. In 1933, 33 Jews remained. Kristallnacht destroyed the synagogue with Jewish property plundered. The Nazis deported some of them went to Sachsenhausen. [June 2009]
CEMETERY: The 19th century Jewish cemetery ground is observable, but some sources report the founding date as 1700. Located on ul. Waszkiewicza or Iwaszkiewicza, the only matzeva left from the cemetery is in the museum in Miedzyrzecz, but no evidence exists of Nazi vandalism. After WWII, the cemetery became a gravel pit. In the nearby forest are fragments of gravestones. Road construction several years ago revealed a few matzevot. Some remain in the pavement of private property. website. Large pieces of metal fencing and devastated mortuary house marked on the map from 1944 that were still visible in 1946. Sandstone gravestones, of no economic value, remained in the 1970s. Marble and other stones matzevot were stolen. The land was rehabbed in the 1990s. In November 2004 a monument commemorating murdered mental hospital patients was erected. [June 2009]
US Commission No. POCE000355 and POCE 00000774
The Jewish cemetery was established in mid-17th century. Progressive/Reform Jews and Wyszanowo, 8 km away, used the cemetery. The isolated suburban flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with a masonry wall, but no gate. The size of the cemetery before WWII and now is 0.55 hectare. There are no gravestones or structures. One removed matseva is in the museum in Miedzyrzecz; others are in the forest near the cemetery. Tombstones in the museum are granite rough stones or boulders with Hebrew inscriptions. The municipality owns property used for waste dump. Properties adjacent are waste dump. The cemetery boundaries are smaller than in 1939 due to waste dump. [Contradicts "same size".] Local residents rarely visit. The cemetery was vandalized during WWII. No maintenance or care. Security and incompatible development (existing and planned) are very serious threats: planned road construction.
Henryk Grecki, 70-534 Szczecin, ul. Soltysia 3/13, tel. 377-41 completed survey 14 Aug 1991. The site was not visited and no interviews conducted.
BOOK: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 77
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 June 2009 13:42|