“Plawno”
Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Poland, Volume I
(Plawno, Poland)

50°59' / 19°28'

Translation of “Plawno” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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Acknowledgments

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 203-204, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


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[Page 203]

Plawno

(District of Radomsko)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

 

Population

Year Population Jews
1764/65 ?  22
1793/94 431 101
1808 329 157
1827 726 273
1857 1,230 755
1897 1,496 752
1921 1,556 566
1 Sep 1939 ? ~400

 

Plawno was a small town of the nobility. It attained the status of a city in the 16th century, but it only grew somewhat from a demographic and economic perspective when it was granted the city privilege for a second time in 1619. The town had a small Jewish population in the 18th century. Twelve fairs took place in the city on an annual basis. Jewish horse and cattle traders from the surrounding area participated in the fairs as well as the weekly market day. There were also horse and cattle merchants among the local Jewish merchants. The rest of the Jewish merchants traded in iron, hides, and agricultural products. The rest of the Jews were tradesmen and hired workers. A few ran inns.

 

The Professional Makeup of the Jewish Population from the years 1764-1848

Profession Year
  1764 1793 1830 1848
Commerce -- 1 13 14
Innkeeping 11 2 1 1
Trades 2 2 8 13
Other sources of livelihood ? ? ? 19

 

In 1848, the tradesmen included three tailors, a hat maker, two tanners, a glassmaker, a smith, two butchers, and two bakers.

The city status of Plawno was revoked in 1870, as it was in decline. A fire broke out in 1871, and almost all of the buildings in Plawno went up in flames. As a result, Plawno was one of the few places in which the Jewish population of the 20th century was less than it was during the latter half of the previous century.

The community of Plawno was independent from the end of the 18th century. Jews from six neighboring villages also belonged to the community of Plawno. In some years, the Jewish population of those villages was greater than that of the town itself. A wooden synagogue was built at the end of the 18th century. It burnt down during the large fire of 1810. A new synagogue was built a few years later, along with a building for the cheder. As a result of the slow growth of the Jewish population due to the meager sources of livelihood, the community was unable to develop its institutions. At the end of the 19th century, the community was able to maintain a rabbinical judge. If they had a rabbi, he was of middle caliber. The judge of the rabbi of Plawno was also the rabbi of Gidle and the nearby areas. Rabbi Shmuel Guterman served as the rabbinical judge of Plawno during the 1820s, and Rabbi Nota Lerner served as its rabbi during the 1830s. Rabbi Eliahu Wilicker occupied the rabbinic seat starting from 1840, and he was followed by Rabbi Yisrael Klinger. Neither was considered to be Torah giant during their days. During the final decades of the 19th century, the rabbinical seat was occupied by more prominent rabbis such as Rabbi Avraham Kleinplac, the author of “Tzlota DeAvraham – novellae on Yoreh Deah” (Piotrków, 1895); as well as Rabbi Berish Potiszmacher, the author of “Yad Halevi” and “Chidishei Sugiot” (Piotrków, 1907). The final rabbi of Plawno, a scion of the Radomsko dynasty, was the Admor Rabbi Yitzchak Mordechai HaKohen Rabinowicz, the most prominent of the rabbis of the city. He authored the books “Ohel Shlomo” (Piotrków, 1924), “Ateret Shlomo” (Piotrków 1926), and “Ohel Shlomo Volume 2” (Piotrków, 1935). These books include the Torah ideas and the annals of the Admor Rabbi Shlomo of Radomsko. Aside from these, Rabbi Yitzchak Mordechai also published the book “Beit Shlomo” (Piotrków, 1927), including novellae on the tractates Yevamot, Ketubot, and Kidushin from Rabbi Shlomo of Parniczew, the grandfather of Rabbi Shlomo of Radomsko. The great influence of the personality of Rabbi Yitzchak Mordechai upon the local Jewish community was very strong. He founded a Yeshiva and even taught there for a period before the First World War.

It is almost certain that the Nazis entered Plawno on September 2, 1939. On September 4, 1939, seven Jews were shot by the Nazis, including six from the Huberman family (four members of this family, Rabbi Yitzchak Mordechai Rabinowicz, and Simcha Turner). That day, five Poles and the Jew Dotkewic were all shot in the park of the estate. After a short period of time, the Jews of Plawno, Gidle, and the nearby villages were enlisted to forced labor in digging dirt at the banks of the Warta River. The Germans crowded them into small, dirty huts. Apparently this camp was situated within the bounds of Gidle, which was united with Plawno in 1941 as a single administrative area (together with 600 Jews). At the end of September of the beginning of October 1942, all of these Jews were transferred to the Radomsko Ghetto. This ghetto was liquidated

[Page 204]

between October 10-12, 1942, and all of the Jews living there were transported to the Treblinka Death Camp.

Sources

AP Łódź: Anteriora PRG 2501, 2542, 2543; Archiwum Potockich I Ostrowskich z Maluszyna III/74, cards 49-50.
Yizkor Book of the Community of Radomsko and its Area, Tel Aviv, 1967, pp. 298-299, 467-468, 496.

 


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