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

52°05' / 18°50'

Translation of "Dabie" 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, page 86, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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(page 86)


District of Kolo

Translated by Shmuel Kehati


Dabie was granted the status of an urban settlement in 1423. A few Jewish families resided in Dabie during the 18th century. A rapid increase in the Jewish population occurred in the 19th century coinciding with the development of industry and manufacturing. Jews contributed to the establishment of fabric factories during the first half of the 19 century. However, most of them did not last, and during the second half of the century, most of the Jewish weavers produced material at home. Jews were also prominent in the beer and whiskey industry, and they owned a few flourmills. The Jewish merchants of Dabie purchased grain, fruit, leather and other agricultural products from the local farmers and sold them in Lodz, Kolo and Kalisz. The smaller merchants earned their livelihood by selling their merchandise on market days and in markets in Dabie and the surrounding area. Confection products from Dabie were available in all major cities in the district.

Beginning in the 20th century, Jewish workmen organized a labor union. The merchants' union opened a cooperative bank. There was a synagogue, Beit Midrash, and Chassidic Minyans. Rabbi Asher Okonowski served as the community rabbi in the 1850's. Charity and community oriented assistance organizations included hospitality and lodging committees and a charity fund. A public elementary school for Jewish children was built in 1864.

Zionist groups organized before the First World War, and their activities resumed and increased in 1917. A girls' school, Beit Yakov, was built after 1918, as well as a Jewish library and amateur drama club. Branches of Jewish political parties were established between the two World Wars, including The General Zionists (Al HaMishmar), Mizrachi, The League for Israel Workers, The Revisionists, Agudat Israel and the Bund. Voting delegations sent to the Zionist Congresses were as follows: 1927- 60 delegates; 1931 179 delegates; 1933 311 delegates; 1933 63 delegates.

Jews were burdened by many decrees immediately after the Germans occupied the town on September 18, 1939. These decrees were similar to the conditions imposed by the Nazis in other places. In December 1939, Jews were ordered to wear yellow arm bands. The Jewish Ghetto, which was initially an open ghetto, began in the summer of 1940. At the end of the summer, 150 men and 50 women were transferred to work camps in the Poznan region. On December 14-17, 1941, the Germans sent the remaining 1,000 Jews to the Chelmno Extermination Camp.

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