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[Page 351]

Debowa Góra

5017' 1922'

Translated by Lance Ackerfeld

In the First World War, with the occupation of the Zaglembian region by the German and Austrian armies, the German governor gave an order in 1915, by which he annexed the town of Sosnowiec to Konstantynow with Srodula, Myslowice, Debowa Góra, Modrzejów and Zagórze. I hereby would like to dedicate the discussion to Debowa Góra.

This place also underwent various transformations (Debowa Góra should not be confused with Dabrowa Górnicza). It developed during an unknown period amongst the untamed forests that previously existed here. At the end of the 18th century there were only five shacks there, even though the area spread out up to Modrzejów. There were two inns here. One of them existed approximately at the place where the Sosnowiec-Dandówka railway crossed Debowa Street. It was located at the edge of the forest and was known as “Wygoda”. Over a certain period of time that won't be denoted by dates there was a courtyard and a farm in this village which was the property of the Dembowski home, of which only one person is known (the district governor of Bedzin around 1755). He was preceded by Jan Dembowski from Debowa Góra. This courtyard apparently stood in the place from which the “glik oyf” settlement developed that was founded by Prince Ludwig Anhalt von Köthen (at the junction of Lipowa and Debowa Streets).

Around about 1830, a coal mine called Friedrich was opened here that was managed according to the initiative system. The chronicles likewise mention that around 1909 the mine was still active, and that a year later it was transferred to a stock company with a capital of 750,000 rubles, that was headed by Count Guido Henkel von Donnersmarck from Silesian Schwirkland. The foundry produced commercial round and square iron [rods], thin and wide. The yearly output of the plant up until 1900 reached 650,000 pud [pud or pood: Russian weight measurement; 1 pood = 40 Russian pounds = 16.381 kg = 36.114 pounds]. One of the managers of the Puszkin foundry administration was someone called Stanislaw Skerwinski, and the manager of the factory was the engineer, Jozef Chalibowski. The Puszkin foundry was eventually changed to the Staszic foundry and belonged to the mining and foundry factories of Modrzejów.

It is interesting to note that, I, the writer of this article, saw this place from the Modrzejów side from the road leading from the market square to the present Debowa Góra, without visiting it frequently because of fear of the Christian youths there who were incited in their parents' homes and school to harm the Jews who “murdered Jesus”. Debowa Góra was located next to the railway lines of a special siding which ran from the Iwangorod railway station which was in Sosnowiec. The siding continued up till the factory and the large mines in Niwka. There, they were used to having locomotives go past and hear whistles at various pitches. Debowa Góra was located in the middle between the Niwka station and the Sosnowiec station, on a hill on which there was always a sense of movement of loading and unloading of various products, and even in the middle of night, Debowa Góra stood as a sort of a black patch from the distance and emanated some sort of terror. The name Puszkin – which the local factory was called – was apparently named by the Russian authorities after the poet Aleksander Puszkin, one of the great Russian poets (1799-1837), with the aim of immortalizing him, and when the opportunity came about, the name Puszkin was changed to the radical Polish cleric Stanislaw Staszic managed the Polish economy.

In Debowa Góra there were streets and alleyways full of average sized houses that served as residences for the local factory and mine workers, and there were grocery stores belonging to the Jews who took care of their needs and made a reasonable living, and like in other places in the region of Zaglembie, the Jewish storekeepers of Debowa Góra were often seen in Sosnowiec from which their financial needs were supplied, and even seen in the town of Modrzejów, since there was a natural connection between Modrzejów and Debowa Góra, just as the mutual relationship between two sisters. It seems to me that there was not a minyan [a prayer meeting of at least 10 Jewish men] in Debowa Góra, and on Saturdays and holidays its Jews combined with the minyan in Modrzejów, or with Nikwa or perhaps with one of the Jewish settlements that were nearby. Problems of the children's education arose amongst the local Jews and they were compelled to use the Jewish educational institutions in the region.

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