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Coat of arms of PoznańAlternate names: Poznań [Pol], Posen [Ger], Poyzn, פּױזן [Yid], Posnania [Lat], Pozyn, Poznam. 52°25' N, 16°58' E. 1900 Jewish population: 30,000. Yizkor: Pinkas ha-kehilot; entsiklopediya shel ha-yishuvim le-min hivasdam ve-ad le-aher shoat milhemet ha-olam ha-sheniya: Poland vol. 6: Poznan and Pomerania Districts; Gdansk (Jerusalem, 1999). This city on the Warta River in west-central Poland with over 567,882 inhabitants in 2006 is one of the oldest cities in Poland and an important historical center of trade, industry, and education. Poznań is Poland's fifth largest city and fourth largest industrial center and the administrative capital of the Greater Poland Voivodeship. The Poznań metropolitan area consists of the autonomous towns of Poznań, Ostrów, Ostrówek, Środka, Chwaliszewo, and Łacina. [March 2009]

In 1264, Prince Boleslaw the Pious granted Jews the Kalisz privilege that guaranteed them the ruler's protection and freedom of residence and trade. Although the first documention dates from 1379, they probably lived here since the privilege was granted. In the Jewish section of the city cemetery are gravestones dating back to the 18th century originally were in the old Jewish cemetery. photos.  [June 2009]

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The Jews probably lived at the market alongside the Dominican monastery. In 1367, Poznań synagogue burned down together with the first Jewish quarter at the intersection of Szewska and the Dominican monastery.  In the following centuries, major trade routes went through Poznan, growing the city and the Jewish population rapidly. The1507 census show one of the largest concentrations of Jews in Poland was in Poznan. In 1510, Jews expelled from Brandenburg they settled here. Later, Sephardim arrived from Spain. In 1521, the entire territory of the Republic released from paying duties when Jews lived along the Jewish street formerly called ul Sukienniczą running from the market north toward the river Kolanu. Gradually, the Jewish quarter grew rapidly, running out space in the central part of the city. In 1536, a great fire that began in the synagogue consumed the city center including the town hall, school, three hospitals, and twenty-two homes. Afterward, fire authorities requested exiling Jews from the city or moving them to the suburban district called Rybaki and limiting the number of Jews by determining the number of houses. That ban was ineffective. In the mid-16th century, the Jewish center in Poznan housed more than 1,500 people, the largest in the country and one of the largest in Europe with a flourishing culture flavor. From talmud teachings to medicine, Poznan education was renowned. In June 1590, another fire consumed the entire Jewish district and the adjacent large non-Jewish part of the city. Again, demand for exile of the Jews was requested, but they remained in place. They quickly rebuilt the district and built a new synagogue. Still building out of wood, the huge population density meant an average of 7-9 people per dwelling and in some cases quadruple that number. The density in the Poznan Jewish district of was incomparable in any city in Poland or Europe with 3,130 Jews living there in 1619. Exacerbating the hostility resulting from the fires, accusations of desecrating the host arose where the Church of Corpus Christi now stands. In 1833, a provisional order divided Jews into two classes of rights and civil liberties. The first Reform temple was built in the 19th century led by the famous rabbi, Judah Low ben Becaleel ( Der Hohe Rabbi Lowe of Prague or MaHaRal. Born here rabbis act as a function of his sons. He was a well-known mystic. The most renown rabbi was Akiba Eger, who served from 1815 to his death in 1837. Born in 1761, he was the rabbi of Poznan and the Grand Duchy of Poznań, eminent scholar and Talmudist, author of numerous works on religious law, and the leader of the Poznan Jewry. After World War I, many Jewish residents of Poznań immigrated to Germany. 6,000 Jews lived there in 1860, decreasing at the end of the 1930s to about 1,500. In November 1939, the forced labor camp called "City Stadium" forced Jews to do road construction. The first Nazi deportations of Jews began in December 1939. The Nazis turned one of the synagogues into a swimming pool. Most of that Jewish population was slaughtered in the Holocaust. [June 2009]

Poznan had several Jewish cemeteries:

First Cemetery: Built in the first half of 15th century in a place called the Złotą Górą near the present Church of the Jesuit Fathers. [June 2009]

Second Cemetery: Another cemetery was established on the Muszej Górz in the vicinity of Freedom Square at pl Cyryla Ratajskiego, 3 Maja, and ul Nowowiejski. Smaller than the Krakow cemetery plans are stored in the archive. Freedom Square in the center of the new city is not far from the old center. Closed in 1805, the bones of the martyrs of 1736and some graves were moved to a new cemetery. Prussian Queen Louisa lived near cemetery and did not want to see Jewish tombstones and funerals, so the cemetery was moved. Like the first cemetery, all traces are gone including the matzevot. [June 2009]

Third Cemetery: In 1803, this cemetery on the current ul Głogowskiej opened. The Nazis destroyed this cemetery during WW II with the gravestones used for paving roads and sidewalks or construction work in Sołaczu, the German officers barracks. After liberation, the destruction continued when pavilions were erected here for the Poznań International Fair. Photos. photo archive of 1929. Today, only a fragment of the cemetery remains, found in the yard of the building at ul. Głogowskiej 26A where Akiba Eger is buried. For many years, the Jewish Committee of Protection of Jewish cemeteries in Europe wanted to construct a lapidarium in the cemetery culminating in December 2006 in an agreement that Głogowskiej 26A would hold the stone gravestones as a lapardium including of of Akiba Eiger with work beginning in Autumn 2007. On April 30, 2008 gravestones returned to the edge of this cemetery. Brothers Samuel and Yoshua Haltern, descendants Akivy Eger funded the project. Rabbis from around the world and various dignitaries also attended the dedication. The remainder of the Jewish cemetery was rededicated in 2008. "The head of Poland's Jewish community Piotr Kadlcik says a small corner of Poznan's former Jewish cemetery has been restored and was dedicated Tuesday by Rabbi Michael Schudrich. This restores the cemetery's status as a sacred burial ground, although no further graves will be added. ... At the center of the plot is the restored grave of author and Talmud scholar Rabbi Akiva Eger." [June 2009]

Fourth Cemetery: The final Jewish cemetery built in Poznan dates from the 1930s at Szamarzewskiego 12. The plot was taken by the Department of City Greenery and recorded in the land as property at ul Engerströma. At the cemetery are garden plots. In 1958, the district municipal cemetery set up a separate Miłostowo Jewish section to accomodate more than a dozen war graves and dozens of destroyed matzevot, an interesting collection of old and simple granite gravestones devoid of symbols and inscribed in legible Hebrew. [June 2009]

MASS GRAVES: Very near the entrance to the cemetery from ul Warsawa on the right side, during WWII, a labor camp (Reichsautobahnlager) of Jewish prisoners forced to build a highway from Poznan to Frankfurt resulted in bones excavated during the construction of the Fair Ground of 1,000 victims. video. [June 2009]

The Poznan Museum Martyrologiczne in Żabikowie has a number of matzevot fragments left after the construction. Many gravestones also have been found in the city and restored including their polychrome. On an adjacent property are of metal fences from the Jewish cemetery ul. Głogowskiej. At various points throughout the city are still fragments of gravestones, even cobbles in the streets like Chwaliszewo and ul. Baraniaka. Photos. [June 2009]

Death records for Posen (aka Posnan) from 1831-35. See In 1993, the existing 18th century gravestones finally were placed in correct location. There are two post-war single graves and graves from other locations were moved there from where Jews were shot and buried. The monument is in the form of a menorah composed of over 100 stones of granite. [Source? Date?]

  • BOOK: Author: Lewin, Isaac, collector. Title: Lewin collection, [ca. 1200]-1942, [ca. 1700]-1942 (bulk) Description: ca. 22.5 linear ft. Notes: Contains variety of records of Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe especially in Posen, Silesia and other German-speaking areas, including pinkasim (record books) of communities and societies, memorial books with lists of deaths, ...Posen (Poznan, Poland), 1535-1538 (copies), 18th century, n.d.; Mecklenburg province, 1760-ca. ... Location: Yeshiva University. Special Collections. Rare Books and Manuscripts, New York, NY. Control No.: NYYH88-A76 [December 2000]
  • BOOK: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 77

POZNAN I:     US Commission No. POCE000457

Poznan, capital of the woiwodship, is located at 52º25 16º58, 303 km from Warszawa. The Jewish cemetery is located on N(?)ogowska Street, Targi Pornaskie. Present town population is over 100,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Miejski, pl. Kolegiacki 17, tel. 525633.
  • Regional: 61-716 Poznan, ul. Koscuiszki 93, tel. 696464, Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow. Interested: Dyoekyz Migdzyrarodowych Targow Pornauiskich? [Handwriting difficult to read].

The earliest know Jewish community in Poznan was 14th century. 1921 Jewish population was 2,088 (1.2%); in 1939 it was 1,500. The Conservative and Progressive/Reform Jewish cemetery was established in 1804. 0.5 km away from the congregation, the urban flat land; separate but near other cemeteries, has no sign or marker. A broken fence surrounds it with one part of the fence left on the Smadeckich Street side. Reached by crossing the Poznan International Fair area, no gravestones are visible. Several dozen tombstones and fragments from the cemetery were transported to the Museum of Martyrology in Zabikowo. The cemetery is currently owned by the Poznan International Fair and used as a fair area. Properties adjacent are commercial, industrial and residential. The cemetery was vandalized during W.W.II. No maintenance. Within the limits of the cemetery are the Fair Halls. Security is a very serious threat.

Pwiewski Stascomi, Poznan, ul. Prybyszevoskiego 41/4? visited in 1990 with Zygmunt Kalinowski, ul Giogowska 28, Poznan. He completed survey was in August 1991.

POZNAN II (MILOSTOWO):     US Commission No. POCE000464

  • Local: Zasgd Miejskiego Cmentaria Milostowo.

The Conservative and Progressive/ Reform Jewish cemetery is located in the town cemetery on Warszawska Street. The suburban flat land; part of a municipal cemetery, has a sign or plaque in Polish mentioning Jews and the Holocaust. Reached by crossing the town cemetery, a continuous masonry wall surrounds it. 1 to 20 flat shaped stones with Polish inscriptions date from 1935. The cemetery has a special memorial monument for Holocaust victims and a marked mass grave. The municipality owns site used as a Jewish cemetery. Properties adjacent are other sections of the town cemetery. Board of the town cemetery clear the vegetation. Slight weather erosion threat. Pwiewski Stascomi, Poznan, ul. Prybyszevoskiego? visited the cemetery in 1990 with Zygmunt Kalinowski, ul Giogowska 28, Poznan. He completed survey in August 1991.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 June 2009 16:17
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