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

52°23' / 18°31'

Translation of "Sompolno" chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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Morris Wirth

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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland,
Volume I, page161, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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(page 161 )

(Koło District)

Translated by Ada Holtzman

The Population figures


In the 19th century Sompolno was an urban settlement. The beginning of Jewish life in Sompolno was in the end of the 18th century. In 1823 the Russian government imposed restrictions on Jewish settlement in Sompolno, and it was allowed only under special permits. The ban was removed in 1862, and the Jews were granted freedom of settlement in the Kingdom of Poland.

The Jews dealt in commerce, and some were dealers of grain and agricultural products. Starting in the middle of the 19th century, the Jews were active in the production of oil and brandy.

The independent status of the community is proven by the fact that Sompolno had its own rabbis who practiced in the small community. In the years 1885-1905, Rabbi Abraham Yitzhak served as the Rabbi of Sompolno. In 1909 Rabbi Issachar Ber, son of Yehuda Lenk was the community rabbi. He was the author of "Pitkhei Shearim". After him came Rabbi Tzvi Meir Ber, author of "Imrei Tzvi." In the 1930's, Rabbi Yoel Fuks served for a short time as the rabbi; afterwards, Rabbi Shmuel David Laski was chosen for this position. He was the last rabbi of Sompolno and served until liquidation during the Holocaust.

Zionist circles existed in Sompolno since the beginning of the 20th century. In the end of WWI, "Agudat Eretz Israel" and "Zeirei Zion" organized in the town, and in 1918 both counted over 40 members. The following Zionist parties were also active between the two world wars: Zionim Klaliim ("Al Hamishmar"), Poalei Zion (right) and the Revisionist Movement. The number of voters in Sompolno for the Zionist Congresses in 1933, 1937, and 1939 follows: 176, 112, and 108. Agudat Israel had a significant influence on the Community institutions. In Sompolno, there was also a branch of the Bund; they were very active among the workers and trade unions.

With the German entrance into Sompolno in September 1939, the Jews suffered from all the persecutions known in those days: property confiscation, expropriation of apartments, movement restrictions, forced labor, wearing the yellow star on their chest, and humiliations. In 1940 the Jews were concentrated in special streets. Groups of men were sent to forced labor in the region of Poznan. In the summer of 1941 the abuses worsened, and they were prohibited from leaving the Ghetto. On February 2, 1942, the liquidation of the Ghetto started and all the Sompolno Jewish population was transferred to the Extermination Camp in Chelmno.

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