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Alternate names: Osięciny [Pol], Ossenholz [Ger], Osienciny, Oshyenchin. 52°38' N, 18°43' E, 13 miles W of Włocławek, 24 miles SW of Lipno. 1900 Jewish population: about 300. Osięciny is a village in Radziejów powiat, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship in north-central Poland and the seat of the administrative district called Gmina Osięciny, 14 km (9 mi) E of Radziejów and 45 km (28 mi) S of Toruń with a 2006 population of 2,700. Gmina Osięciny contains the villages and settlements of Bartłomiejowice, Bełszewo, Bełszewo-Kolonia, Bilno, Bodzanówek, Borucin, Borucinek, Jarantowice, Karolin, Konary, Kościelna Wieś, Krotoszyn, Latkowo, Lekarzewice, Leonowo, Nagórki, Osięciny, Osłonki, Pieńki Kościelskie, Pilichowo, Pocierzyn, Powałkowice, Pułkownikowo, Ruszki, Samszyce, Sęczkowo, Szalonki, Ujma Mała, Witoldowo, Włodzimierka, Wola Skarbkowa, Zagajewice, Żakowice, Zblęg and Zielińsk. We Remember Jewish Osieciny. [June 2009]

CEMETERY: Jewish settlement probably occurred into the second half of the 18th century, a few Jewish families. The Jewish quarter was limited to two streets in which Jews were allowed to acquire real estate: ul. Żydowska.. A wooden beit midrash later was rebuilt. Proximity of the border with Prussia precluded further Jewish settlement in 1822. The first Jewish settlers were petty trader, craftsmen, and tailors. 1862 abolition of restrictions on Jewish settlements meant the population began to grow and the Jews could live anywhere in the city. The municipality provided the Jewish community an area near the cemetery to build a brick synagogue. The chevra kaddish was established formally in 1906. In the interwar period, the Jews continued in small trade and handicrafts. Chassidism was popular. In the 1930s, local participated in anti-Semitic behavior, boycotting shops and craftsmen and beating up Jews. The German army entering Osięcin in October 1939 soon confiscated Jewish property. They arrested ten Poles and ten Polish Jews and held them. In autumn 1939, they set up a Judenrat, to ensure workers aged 15 to 60 years for German firms or forced labor such as forestry and construction. Beards were cut and several people murdered. In November 1939 the Nazis forced Rabbi Avraham-Noach Najman to burn a new Torah in the synagogue. In 1940 the ghetto was established; and dozens of young Jews were transported to forced labor camps in Bielsko, Mogilnie and other towns. In January 1942, the Jews were gathered in a large hall, forced to bring their valuables while the soldiers plundered their homes. Some Jews fled the village, but most were caught and shot. The final liquidation of the ghetto occurred on April 15, 1942 when the remaining Jews were gathered in the church and transported by truck to Chelmno. Only 15 Jews survived the Holocaust, twelve in concentration camps and three, who at the beginning of the war fled to the Soviet Union. After the war, at least four Jews who returned were murdered. Among them were two butchers, Moshe (Moszek) Berkowicz and Manes Gutowski. [June 2009]

CEMETERY: Established in 1900, the cemetery is located in the village of Karolin in the forest on a small hill about five hundred meters from the Osięciny-Włocławek road, the cemetery was destroyed by the Nazis with gravestones used pavements. The ground is sandy that was taken by the Germans for construction. Even after the war, some matzevot and the cemetery wall remained, but no trace remains today although some gravestones can be found in graves across the area. Some matzevot are in the pool in zasypanej Carolina. The former cemetery caretaker's [Kulpa] grandson built the building in the cemetery into a residence. In the cemetery, people grazed cows and goats, which damaged graves and tombstones, but kept the vegetation down. Book by Rafael Olewsky: The Tear. Tel Aviv, 1983. photos. [June 2009]

Last Updated on Thursday, 09 June 2011 15:07
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