"Lyszkowice" - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume I

51°59' / 19°55'

Translation of "Lyszkowice" chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume I, pages 150-151, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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(pages 150-151)

(District of Lowicz)

Translated by Corinne Appleton

Year General

There is no record of a Jewish presence in the village of Lyszkowice before 1852 when a well-known Jewish banker, Herman Epshtein, established a sugar plant. This plant was one of the biggest, most up-to-date of its kind in all of Congress Poland. Its yearly production earning was nearly 2 million zloty, and it also owned its own sugar beet farms. This enterprise provided an income for many local workers, most of them, if not all, Christians. The owners cared for their workers exemplarily, providing, among other benefits, medical services and free education for their children.

The Jews of Lyszkowice, having neither their own community, nor a cemetery, were subordinate to the Lowicz community, one of their leaders being a member of the council. Nevertheless, they did have their own rabbi (or dayan – judge in Jewish law). In the late 19th century, this was Rabbi Sokolov, uncle and rabbi to Nahum Sokolov, father-in-law to Rabbi Michael David Weingart, the Rabbi of Lowicz.

In the period between the two world wars the Jews engaged mainly in crafts and small scale commerce: peddling in the villages. Many merchants transported merchandise to Lowicz, Lódz, and other towns. The sugar plant did not then employ Jews. The desperate financial situation of the Jews of Lyszkowice – particularly in the 1930's – can be ascertained from the extended activities of 'Kupat Gmilat Hassidim' charity fund, which in 1937 was supported by 90% of the local Jewish community. In that year the fund provided loans of some 9,927 zloty. At the same time 'Keren Shikum' rehabilitation fund was established, and its task was to seek a source of income for the poor and needy.

In spite of all the financial problems, political parties and youth movements were very active in this small community. Among the youth, the influence of communism was overwhelming. The communist youth enjoyed their own library (named after Peretz), which housed 200 books. Near the library plays were staged, and public readings, lectures and political discussions took place, sometimes with the participation of party officials from outside. Hashomer Hazair movement (Zionists communist) in Lyszkowice had a few dozen members.

In the 30's the anti-Semitic climate now intensified throughout the town. The local Endeks pursued without mercy the Jewish doctor, Dr. V. Berlin. The authorities' endeavors and machinations against him, eventually forced the doctor to leave the village. The Endeks intended to expel from the village the next doctor when they discovered that he was not of pure Aryan race, but a convert. This time they did not succeed. Endek youth from Lowicz distributed in Lyszkowice anti-Semitic pamphlets and papers, and on the walls were scribbled anti Jewish slogans.

In the period of the German occupation (1940-1941) there were in Lyszkowice some 500-600 Jews, including 300 refugees, mainly from Lódz, Aleksandrów Lódzki, Zgierz, Brzeziny and Aleksandrów Kujawski. The Jews were imprisoned in the ghetto that was set up in 1940. The ghetto and the community were eliminated in 1941 when the German authorities ordered the expulsion of all Jews from the region of Lowicz to the Warszawa ghetto. At that time there were but 300 Jews in the ghetto; the rest had fled when they learnt of the coming expulsion.

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