MSZCZONOW: Masowieckie Print

Coat of arms of MszczonówAlternate names: Mszczonów [Pol], Amshinov, אמשינאוו [Yid], Mshchonuv, Мщонув [Rus]. 51°59' N, 20°31' E, 28 miles SW of Warsaw, 16 miles SSW of Błonie, 7 miles SE of Żyrardów with which it shares the Yizkor Book Pinkas Zyrardow, Amshinov un Viskit, (Buenos Aires, 1961). 1900 Jewish population: 2,523. 1921 Jewish population: about 5,000 (43%). The town in Żyrardów County, Masovian Voivodeship with 6,310 inhabitants in 2004 a Jewish community, that  was once the center of the Hasidic Amshinov dynasty (Mszczonów pronounced as "Amshinov" in Yiddish.) Normal 0 The town of Mszczonów was the seat of the district since the 15th century, but in the mid-18th century wars and natural disasters made it difficult for them to pay taxes and deal with the feudalism so the Christian inhabitants decided to allow the Jews their civil rights in exchange for their participation in the obligations to the burgers. On December 14, 1778, the municipality reached an agreement with them. Jews were free to have homes in the market and participate in all facets of life of the town. A synagogue, mikvah, cheder and yeshiva were part of a local Chassidic dynasty started by Jakub David Kalisz (1814-1878), son of Icchak Kalisz Warki known as the Wurker Rebe. His successors included Menachem Kalisz (1860-1918), Józef Kalisz ben Menachem (d. 1935), Jakub Dawid Kalisz syn Józefa (1906-1942). In 1876, Hirsz David Nomberg, journalist, writer and translator, and contributor of the Union of Jewish Writers and Journalists in Poland, the deputy to the Sejm was born here. [June 2009]

CEMETERY: Located just next to the Warsaw-Katowice road, opposite ul Poniatowski where the buildings of the Jewish community: the synagogue, mikvah, and slaughterhouse stood, only the mikvah remains. Established in 1763 on the square of "70 by 70 cubits," despite the Nazi destruction, the cemetery survives with 150-200 matzevot facing in an easterly direction in clearly defined row, only a small percentage of the pre-war matzevot. Weathering combined with a lack of ongoing maintenance has almost completely destroyed the original polychrome that once decorated these gravestones. Only a few retain traces of the dye. Epitaphs are Hebrew. In a few places are a simple granite stone. Probably before WWII, the cemetery wooden markers were placed generally on the graves of poor people. In the northern part of the cemetery, scholars from the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw matzevot have identified a second half of the 18th century group of the oldest matzevot from the years 1772, 1778, 1784, 1788 and 1791, sandstone matzevot with semicircular tops and decorative edging. Convex shaped decorative inscriptions of letters, generally, are the "lamed" as a carved bird head. Later monuments show bas-relief of carved candles, Cohanim hands, lions, deer, birds, crowns, broken trees, palm trees, grapes, box, pots, often placed as a combination of symbols. The restored ohel of the founder of this Chassidic dynasty, Jakub David has his matzevot and put a wall with a new metal plate with a Hebrew inscription. The matzevot set in the corner is that of Aron Kohen, who died in 1873, son of Moses, president of the rabbinical court and son-in-law Menachem Mendel of Warki .At the peak of the ohel's inner wall is another inscription. Recently, the cemetery became a restaurant. Funded by Renata Singer (the daughter of one of the Jews from Mszczonów and Rabbi Singer, a descendant of the family of rabbis), work was carried out in cooperation with the Foundation for Preservation of Jewish Heritage. The land was fenced with a sound gate. On one of the pillars is a plaque reading:  "Jews settled in Mszczonow in the eighteenth century. In half of the nineteenth century the residents of the city contributed to its economic and cultural development. Mszczonów was also the seat of the famous dynasty tzaddikim (Amszinow). In 1921 2,188 Jews lived in the town, representing 43% of the population. In September 1939, Mszczonów was occupied by the Germans, who started the persecution of Jews. In February 1941, the German Nazis deported the Jews to the Warsaw Ghetto. Most of them perished in the death camp at Treblinka. In memory of the Mszczonów Jewish population, who were murdered during the Holocaust by German Nazis. Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage Jewish Community of Warsaw Renata Singer in 2007." The family living next to the cemetery maintains the cemetery and provides the key to the gate and ohel. Graves of tzaddikim from here can be found also in the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw (cell 47 ohel), Photos. Muzeum Mazowsza Zachodniego w Żyrardowie. video filmed in 2002 before a restaurant cemetery. Photos.

US Commission No. POCE000226

(Alternate name: Amszinow in Yiddish) Mszczonow is located in Skierniewickie at 51º59 20º31, 74 km from Lodz and 45 km from Warszawa. Cemetery location: ul. Marchlewskiego. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 without Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Miasta, ul. Grojecka 45, tel. 768.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, 96-100 Skierniewice, ul. Pomologiczna 10.

The earliest known Jewish community was 1765. 1921 Jewish population was 2,188. Aron Kaplan, Mszczonowa, 2M, 1873 and Jakub (Jankiel) Dawid Kalisz, 2M, 1878 lived here and are both buried in the cemetery. The Orthodox and Conservative Jewish cemetery was established in 18th century with last burial 1939-45. Landmark: official register of Jewish cemeteries, 1981. 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 broken fence and non-locking gate. The size of the cemetery before WWII and now is 0.74 hectares. 20-100 gravestones, 1-20 not in original locations with 25-50% broken or toppled, date from 1772-20th century. The cemetery was divided in special sections for men and women. The granite, limestone, and sandstone rough stones or boulders, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, or flat stones with carved relief decoration have Hebrew inscriptions. There are no mass graves. The municipality owns property used as a Jewish cemetery only. Properties adjacent are agricultural and residential. Organized Jewish group tours and private visitors occasionally visit. The cemetery was vandalized during WWII. Jewish groups abroad (z Nowego Jorku) cleared vegetation in 1988-1990. Cccasional clearing or cleaning by individuals paid by contributions from visitors is care. There is an ohel within the cemetery. There are no current threats.

Pawel Fijalkowski, ul. Ziemowita 11, 96-500 Sochaczew, tel. 227-91 visited site and completed survey 22 Sept 1991. People interviewed: Janina Szczepanik, ul. Marchlewskiego, Mszczonow.

BOOK:: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 58

" Mszczonow, near the Katowice Road. 100 tombstones, the oldest 1772. Ohel of Aron, Rabbi of Nadarzyn." [source?]

UPDATE: Cemetery photos at http://www.kirkuty.xip.pl/mszczonow.html [January 2006]

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 June 2009 12:07