ALEKSANDROW LODZKI, town in central Poland, founded in 1818. The first Jewish residents were under the jurisdiction of the Lutomiersk kahal, but an independent community was established in 1830 by Jews who came from Lutomiersk. In 1826 the governor of the Polish Congress Kingdom granted the community a privilege permitting them to reside and acquire property in specified areas of the town. The Jewish population of Aleksandrow Lodzki numbered around 1,000 in the 1850s; 1,673 (27.9% of the total population) in 1879; 3,061 (24.1%) in 1909; and 2,635 (31.9%) in 1921.
In 1939 there were 3,500 Jews in Aleksandrow, comprising one-third of the total population. The German army occupied the town on Sept. 7, 1939, and on the following day set the main synagogue afire and forced the Jews to burn the Torah scrolls which were found in private homes. There were several cases of kiddush ha-Shem when Jews sacrificed their lives while trying to save the sacred books. Kidnapping of Jews in the streets, open robbery, and the imposition of ever higher ransoms continued until the end of 1939. In this period the famous "court" of the Aleksandrow zaddik (Danziger) was liquidated. All Jews of Aleksandrow were expelled to Glowno (in the Generalgouvernement) on Dec. 27, 1939. Some of them remained there and the others were deported to other towns of the Generalgouvernement. The Jewish cemetery of Aleksandrow was plowed up and turned into a park.
Aleksander (al-yad Lodz) (1968), memorial book in Heb. and Yid.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.