Alternate names: Wschowa [Pol], Fraustadt [Ger]. This town in the Lubusz Voivodeship with 14,607 inhabitants in 2004 is the capital of Wschowa powiat. Also see Leszno. [July 2009]
By the end of the 16th century Jews lived here engaged in making loans and pledges in financial transactions due usury bans imposed on Christians. In the mid-16th century, Jews were accused of desecrating the host and expelled from the town until about 1700. 602 Jews lived there in 1765, reaching 648 in 1817. The synagogue built in 1798 burned down in 1801 with construction of a new one until 1885 when the Jewish population was 318. Rabbis were Jacob Wschowie Jarachmiela Abarbanella, Kaskela Isaac Theomina, Kaskela Japha, Menachem Mendel Loewenstamma, Nathan Baeck, Abraham Perl and Markus Gross. In 1844 the kehilla certified its cemetery property ownership with the local Municipal Office and confirmed that the cemetery was unencumbered. In 1858 the kehilla pulled down the old beit tahara and built a massive mortuary of half-timbered construction with brick fillers and a massive roof. An 1897 document in the archives is an agreement between the kahal and Joseph Mann, the cemetery caretaker and gravedigger-- document and photos. Immigration at the beginning of the twentieth century diminished the Jewish population: 1905-186, 1933-125. Kristallnacht in 1938 that burned and destroyed synagogues and stores encouraged further immigration. In May 1939, 44 Jews remained. Those unable to flee before October 1941 were deported East in 1942 and murdered. In November 1942 only one Jew with a non-Jewish spouse remained. [July 2009]
CEMETERY: For many years the kahal had no cemetery and used the Jewish cemetery in Leszna. In 1759 Franciszek Kwilecki (alderman) gave consent for the Jews to buy land for a cemetery. On April 27, 1765 King Stanisław August Poniatowski approved an annual rent of [current PLN 600] for the lease on 80 roods wide by 80 roods long. Wschowa's inhabitants opposed the cemetery; and the bishop of Poznań on June 20, 1765 banned the cemetery. The king in 1766 and 1768 ordered destruction of the cemetery and banned their residence in 1768. The alderman's protection the Jews prolonged the case until the verdict by the King's Bench Division in 1777 that all Jews had to leave Wschowa and that the cemetery be destroyed to be enforced by the alderman. However, probably, the case of the cemetery was settled only by actions taken by the Boni Ordinis Commission in Wschowa (1780-83). The 0.66 ha cemetery still was open as late as in 1785 in the northern suburbs at the former Töpferstraße 22 (currently 17 Pułku Ułanów Street). Today, only the trees surrounding the cemetery mark its boundaries with no gravestones visible, not even fragments, amid the playground and football field. The site has a sign mentioning Jews and the Holocaust. Easy to find at 17 Poznanski Pułku Ułanów, the cemetery is a few hundred meters from ul. Daszyńskiego. Photos. [July 2009]
US Commission No. POCE000317
The Jewish community started at the turn of the 15th-16th century. As a result of the privilege of "non tolerandis Judacis" of October 17, 1659, Jews were removed from the Old City of Wschowa. Living here were Gerzel Pinkus, Jakub Samuel, Abraham Isak, Hegneman Neuman, J.B. Nathan, Jochan Opeh, A. Philip, Locser Baruch Lewi, Bar Moses Gettel, and Arie Lewin Dantzigen. The Progressive/Reform cemetery was established August 10, 1759. R. Jakob Jarachmiel Aberbrand, Jakub Hirsz Eilenberg, Salomon Michel Weiner, and R. Hirsz Kaskel Gaphan are buried there. The isolated suburban flat land has no sign or marker, no gate, fence or wall. Open to all, access is a public road. Its area before WWII and now is 0.57 ha. No stones are visible. Four stones were removed and placed in Szlichtyngowa, another cemetery. Tombstones date from 1826-20th century. The sandstone flat shape stones with carved relief decoration or double tombstones have German and Hebrew inscriptions. Some tombstones have traces of painting on their surface. There are no special monuments or any known mass grave. The municipality owns now the cemetery used for agriculture and recreation. Adjacent properties are agricultural, residential, storage, and waste dumping. Local residents and visitors rarely visit. The cemetery was vandalized during WW2 with no care or structures.
Daviusz Czwojdrak ul. Lipowa 22a/4, 67-400 Wschowa completed survey on November 1, 1991, after visit. He interviewed Mgr. Piotr Kopec on October 31, 1991.
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,..., cemetery registers, society statutes, synagogue seat records, and other documents of communities at ...Fraustadt (Wschowa, Poland), 1835-1887; ... Location: Yeshiva University . Special Collections. Rare Books and Manuscripts, New York, NY. Control No.: NYYH88-A76 [December 2000]
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 July 2009 13:34|