“Tuchola” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Poland, Volume VI

53°35' 17°51'

Translation of “Tuchola” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Polin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem



Tamar Amit


Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem for permission
to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Polin:
Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Poland, Volume VI, pages 71-72,
published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

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[Page 71]


(Tuchola locality, Pomerania province)

Translated by Tamar Amit in memory of the Becker & Levi families



Year Total
1767 470 33
1813 1,111 321
1844 715
1876 2,764 959
1885 3,061 576
1932 18

T', one of the oldest cities of Pomerania, is first mentioned in documents from 1187. At that time and until 1207, Duke Sambour reined Pomerania. Towards the end of the 13th century, T' was transferred to the rule of the Czech kinks, Václav the 2nd and the 3rd. In 1310 it was conquered by the Teutonic Knights and in 1466 returned to the Polish king who gave it to the nobles. In 1656, T' was conquered by the Swedish and destroyed. The Poles started rebuilding it but as a result of the first Partition of Poland in 1772, T' became part of Prussia. Frederick the Great, King of Prussia invested a lot of efforts in rebuilding T' – secured large amounts of money to rebuild churches and schools and allocated royal forest lands to build housing. In 1772, T' had only 490 residents; the king called on German settlers to settle in it and promised them good terms and so by 1813 its population doubled. T' remained under German-Prussian authority until the end of the First World War and in this period it continued to flourish demographically and economically, workshops as well as manufacturing factories were set up and local commerce prospered. In 1919, T' was returned to the Second Polish Republic. In the beginning of September 1939 the city was taken by the Germans.

In 1767, there were 33 Jews in T'. Along with the Germans who settled in the city encouraged by the King of Prussia, additional Jews also came and by the beginning of the 19th century they numbered more than 300. They had a great influence on the development of the local economy. The wealthier ones dealt in trade of grains, timber and leather while the rest earned a living from small commerce and peddling wares.

In 1843, the building of a synagogue was completed and it was consecrated in a ceremony by the Jewish community's rabbi at the time, R.H. Horowitc. By that time, the Jews of T' had several other public institutions as well as self-help and charity organizations. The children of the community attended the general elementary school which consisted of 6 classes.

During the 19th century, the community continued to grow and in 1876 it had 959 members. From that year on, the general trends of urbanization and migration took effect on T' as well as the rest of the Jews in the area and the community started diminishing in size, this decrease getting steeper towards the beginning of the 20th century and mostly between the two world wars.

During this period, the community still employed a cantor that also served as kosher butcher. Aside from the synagogue it also had a vegetable field on an area of 2 morags and a large communal bathhouse. Jews from the vicinity of T' were also part of its Jewish community.

Most of the Jews at that time made their living from peddling wares but there was also a minority of craftsmen. Between the Jews and their German neighbors, some of which stayed on even after T' was returned to Poland, there were good neighborly relations. The Jews even supported the German representatives to the Polish Sejm. Most of the town's Jews left in during the 1930's.

The Germans, having captured T' in early 1939, deported the last of T's Jews to the General Government by Himler's orders of 30th October 1939.


Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, 1.11.1843, 2.9.1844


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