“Klodawa” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume I
(Kłodawa, Poland)

52°15' / 18°55'

Translation of “Klodawa” chapter
from Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem



Project Coordinator

Leon Zamosc


Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem for permission
to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume I, pages 244-245, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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[Pages 244-245]

(Kolo District)

Translated by Leon Zamosc


Year Total
1764/65 (?) 19
1808 940 221
1827 1,995 443
1857 2,416 585
1897 2,945 847
1921 3,901 1,148
Sept. 1, 1939 (?) About 1,350


Klodawa was granted city status in 1430. The first indications of the presence of Jews go back to 1487. In 1647, however, the Polish king granted a privilege that allowed the town to prevent their settlement. The restriction, which was ratified in 1755, was officially abolished towards the end of the 18th century. Still, some Jews had managed to establish themselves in the town, as shown by the fact that a record from 1764 mentions 19 Jewish residents who owned 2 houses. By the beginning of the 19th century, the community had grown, with most of the Jews living in the area of Jadowice. In October 1917, a huge fire consumed 87 homes in Klodawa, including the dwellings of many Jews and taking the lives of 5 Jewish children. While some Jews traded in agricultural products, a large proportion of them were craftsmen.

Following the restoration of Polish independence, a board of the Jewish community seems to have been formally established in the 1920s. In 1856, Rabbi Benjamin Wolf had presided over the religious life of the community. Rabbi Ephraim Engelman served as rabbi of Klodawa from 1865 until the 1980s. In the 1860s the old wooden synagogue that stood in the Jadowice neighborhood was replaced by a stone building.

The activity of organized Zionist circles began in 1916. Between the two world wars, the active Zionist organizations in Klodawa included the General Zionists, Mizrahi, Poalei Zion, and the Revisionist movement. Local participation in the election of delegates to the Zionist Congresses amounted to 231 voters in 1933, 152 in 1937 and 192 in 1939. There was also a branch of Agudat Israel. As a result of the elections to the Jewish community council in 1931, the seats were distributed as follows: 2 for the Zionist list, 2 for a non-partisan list, and 3 for the joint list of Agudat Israel and the craftsmen. During this period, there was an association of craftsmen and a Gemilot Hasidim savings and loans cooperative in the town. In the years after the First World War, Rabbi Shlomo Engelman was the rabbi of the community. The Zionist organizations established cultural groups and sports clubs.

With the Nazi occupation of September 1939, the Jews of Klodawa were subjected to a variety of abuses: imposed cash “contributions”, forced labor, robbery of property, movement restrictions, wearing signs on their clothing, and other humiliations. In 1940, dozens of Jews fled to Piotrkow Tribunalsky and other towns in the territory of the General Government. In 1940, about 1,100 Jews were still in Klodawa. On January 2 1942, 46 members of the community were murdered in the forests near Kazimierz Biskupi. Between January 9 and12 1942, all the Jews remaining in the town were deported to extermination at Chelmno.


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