"Szczerców" - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume I
(Poland)

51°20' / 19°07'

Translation of "Szczerców" chapter
from Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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Acknowledgments

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Morris Wirth

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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume I, page 266, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


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(page 266 )

Szczerców
(District of Łask)

Translated by Corinne Appleton

General Population
YearTotalJews
1793/4?16
180851388
18201,064149
18271,306186
18571,687371
18972,754962
19214,3501,513

Szczerców achieved town status in the second half of the 14th century, and up to the second partition of Poland functioned as the center of the king's estate in that region. At the beginning of the 18th century the town was destroyed by fire; it was restored at the end of that century. In about 1790, the first Jewish families began to settle there. One such family made a living renting a public house (the other three pubs were run by town residents), another Jew was a shopkeeper, and the rest: a butcher, two bakers and two tailors.

At the end of the 19th century and during the period between the two world wars, the town experienced many disasters, from which the Jews greatly suffered. On three occasions fires broke out and houses, including many belonging to Jews, were burnt down. In 1880, 80 buildings were destroyed by fire. On August 8, 1935, a fire laid waste over 120 houses, and nearly 1,000 people, among them 120 Jewish families (over 530 souls) were rendered homeless. The region authorities donated 1,000 zloty. On September 3, 1936, once again fire broke out and 5 houses, in which 16 Jewish families were living, went up in flames. On the eve of the Second World War the Jews of Szczerców were utterly poverty stricken due to continuous natural disasters, the town's serious economic problems, and the increasing economic boycott of Jews.

At first, the Jews of Szczerców were part of the Łask community. In the second half of the 19th century they set up their own independent community. During the period between the two world wars Agudat Israel ran the council, sometimes elected on a block vote with the Craftsmen.

At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, a Rabbi Neta, and after him Rabbi Meir, are mentioned as the rabbis of the Szczerców Jewish community. In 1912, the acting rabbi was then a dayan [judge] named Rabbi Yitzhak Meir Koltonowski, the son of Rabbi Avraham Binyamin, the rabbi of the community of Widawa. In the period between the two world wars, Rabbi Moshe Ejbeszyc held the post, and after him, Rabbi N. Ejbeszyc - the last rabbi to serve the community.

In September 1939, Szczerców was completely demolished in war actions. Together with the rest of the town, Jewish homes were burned, and the synagogue. The Jews were now homeless; most sought refuge in nearby Zelów, and 150 others in Bełchatów. The few remaining Jews were removed (probably at the end of 1941 or beginning of 1942) also to Bełchatów.


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