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Coat of arms of Gmina PyzdryAlternate names: Pyzdry [Pol], Pyzer, פיזדרי [Yid], Пыздры [Rus], Peizer, Peisern. 52°10' N, 17°42' E, 81 miles WNW of Łódź, 24 miles W of Konin, 11 miles SW of Słupca. Jewish population: 890 (in 1857), 406 (in 1921). Yizkor: Pinkas ha-kehilot; entsiklopediya shel ha-yishuvim le-min hivasdam ve-ad le-aher shoat milhemet ha-olam ha-sheniya: Poland vol. 1: The communities of Lodz and its region (Jerusalem, 1976). Gmina Pyzdry is an urban-rural administrative district in Września powiat, Greater Poland Voivodeship in west-central Poland with its seat as the town of Pyzdry, 20 km (12 mi) S of Września and 59 km (37 mi) SE of the regional capital Poznań. The gmina 2006 total population is 7,217 (with the population of Pyzdry 3,188. Jewish history. The forest now encroaches on the actual cemetery and nearby farmhouse whose previous owner acted as caretaker of the cemetery. Normal 0 The first documentation of Jews here was in 1387. In 1565, Jews had 4 houses and a prayer house. In 1628, with only seven Jewish-owned houses, town burghers complained about the Jews' power in the city and tried to get rid of them. Leaders of this kahala, Jewish community, played a significant role in the Sejm of the Four Lands. In the in the 17th and 18th centuries, Jews lived in a separate area and labored in trade, mills, and tanneries. In 1764, 29 Jewish tailors, five butchers, and a baker were among the craftsmen. The local kahal had synagogues, prayer houses, and a cemetery. In 1782 the rabbi was Rafael Pyzdr, author of "Or Leyesharim." Other rabbis were Nachman of Amsterdam, Ber Leventhala, David and Mordechai Chaim Kantor Cwi. Over the centuries, the number of Jews fluctuated. In 1764-1765, 454 Jews lived there. Jewish population peaked at 1,221 in 1808 down to 406 in 1921 as immigration sent these Jews abroad. After occupation of the city by the Nazis in 1939, Jews were subjected to anti-Semitic repression, limiting movement, confiscating property, and forcing them into slave labor, creating a Judenrat to organize slave labor for road construction, bridge repair work, or field work. On June 17-18,1940, Jewish residents were deported to Pyzdr Rzgów and Grodźca Zagórów. Few survived. [June 2009]

CEMETERY: The 18th century cemetery was destroyed, matzevot were used as embankments along the Warta and for street paving and a bunker beside the river road. Embedded in the Podklasztorna bunker slope used for fuel storage for power stations, larger pieces of gravestones with clear inscriptions in Hebrew are visible. The efforts of the curator at the Museum of Regional Pyzdrach, Michael Czerniak, moved part of the matzevot from the side of the river to the museum. In 1993, a the small lapidarium was built in the cemetery with these recovered gravestones. Occasionally, more fragments show up. The wall in the museum holds a gravestone from the old Jewish cemetery from the surrounding area of  Rychwale. Photos. [June 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000706

Pyzdry is in Konin voivodship at 52º10 17º41, 50 km. from Konin. Cemetery: westward off the road Pyzdry-Kalisz. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Mayor Przemyslaw Kowalski, Urzed Miasta i Gminy, Pyzdry; ul. Magistracka 1, tel. #13.
  • Regional: Irena Sobierajska, PSOZ.
  • Interested: Regional Museum at Pyzdry.

1939 Jewish population was 960 out of 5,100 total. Community was Orthodox and Progressive/Reform. Living here were the families of Rosental, Jasinski, and Rosenkopfe. The last Jewish burial was 1930/1. No other towns or villages used this cemetery. The isolated suburban crown of a hill has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall, gate, or fence. The cemetery size was 1.3 ha before WWII and 1.0 now. 1-20 stones exist; none in original location. OR 100-500 stones are not in original location with less than 25% toppled or broken. 5 small pieces are in the Regional Museum at Pyzdry. Others are in a fuel storehouse at the foot of the Cloister Hill. The 19th century granite or sandstone rough stones/boulders inscribed stones have Hebrew inscriptions. The municipality owns the property used as a forest (since 1950.) Adjacent property is agricultural and residential. The property is probably smaller than before WWII because of the planting of a forest. Rarely, local residents visit and private visitors. It was vandalized during World War II. No care or structures. Weather erosion and security (uncontrolled access) are a moderate threat.

Lucja Pawlicka-Nowak, 62-510 Konin, ul. 11 Listopada 15/76, tel. 43 43 56 completed survey on August 27, 1992 using interviews, research, and literature. He visited on August 26, 1992. Interviewed were local elderly inhabitants and the director of the Regional Museum at Pyzdry, ul. Kaliska 25a.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2009 02:44
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