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

52°04' / 19°29'

Translation of “Piątek” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem


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Acknowledgments

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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 201-202, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem


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[Page 201]

Piątek

(District of Łęczyca)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

 

Population

Year Population Jews
1764/65 ?  101
1801 1,042  400
1827 1,516  698
1857 1,612  805
1897 2,325 1,090
1921 3,234 1,291
1 Sep 1939 ? 1,275

 

During the middle ages, Piątek was under the ownership of the princes of Greater Poland. Later, it transferred to the hands of the Archbishop of Gneizno, and it became

[Page 202]

the administrative center of one of his estates. Piątek attained the status of a city at the beginning of the 14th century. As was the situation in most of the cities owned by the Catholic clergy, Jews were forbidden to reside in Piątek. However, we know of several exceptions. In 1793, the local priest leased his beer brewery to a Jew for 108 zloty. Jews were permitted to live on Pokszybnicka Street, one of the streets of Piątek, which was owned directly by the nobility and was exempt from the direct oversight of the archbishop and city council. Fourteen Jewish-owned houses stood on that street in 1765, housing 22 Jewish families. Among the Jews of Piątek at that time, there were 12 tradesmen (four tailors, four sack makers, three butchers, a boiler maker), one medic, one businessman, and one innkeeper. The Jews on Pokszybnicka Street formed an independent community. In 1764, 38 Jews of the neighboring villages were numbered among them. With the secularization efforts of the Prussian regime, Piątek ceased being the property of the archbishop in 1796. With that, the bans and restrictions imposed by the clergy also ended, including the ban on Jewish residency. However, there were differences of opinion among the residents of Piątek in this regard. Therefore, a poll took place, in which 99 of the 416 residents of the city participated. The majority, 55, favored the granting of rights of residence to the Jews even beyond Pokszybnicka Street, whereas 44 were opposed.

In 1884, there were 52 Jewish tradesmen in the city (24 tailors, five shoemakers, six butchers, 17 bakers), and five Jewish medics.

Rabbi Ziskind HaKohen Lipszyc, one of the leaders of the Gerrer Hassidim, served as the rabbi of Piątek from 1869-1890. He was widely known for the many approbations that he wrote for books of didactics and Torah thoughts that were published in his days. The rabbinical seat of Piątek was considered honorable in those days. Rabbi Menachem Mendel Landau, the grandson of Rabbi Avraham, the Admor of Ciechanów, occupied the rabbinical seat from 1890-1895. Rabbi Yerucham Fiszel served as rabbi in 1906.

On September 9, 1939, a few days after the outbreak of the Second World War and the entry of the Nazis to the town, German soldiers shot approximately 50 people, including seven Jews. The Germans murdered the people after they concluded their forced labor of repairing the bridge.

The number of Jews in Piątek declined during the time of the occupation. The Jewish population was 838, including 18 refugees from other places, on January 1, 1940. On January 1, 1941, there were 862 Jews. There was a ghetto in Piątek. The German police murdered one Jew in March 1942, and shot (or publically hung) two Jews in April. The Piątek Ghetto was liquidated a short time after that, in the latter half of April, 1942 and its residents were deported to the Chelmno Death Camp. The local authorities exchanged the sum of 5,442.63 German marks from the Jewish property that remained after the liquidation, and transferred that sum to the German command of the Łódź Ghetto, which was responsible for all the ghettoes of the district.

Sources

AGAD: Archiwum Prymasa Poniatowskiego 64/1, p. 698 Lędzyckie Varia 6, cards 18v-194.
AP, Łódź, KGK 2096.

 


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