GROJEC (Yid. Gritse), small town in Warsaw district. The privilege granted to the town in 1744 prohibited Jewish settlement there; nevertheless Jews began to settle there in the 18th century; they are mentioned there in 1754. The community numbered 1,719 in 1856 (68.7% of the total population), 3,737 in 1897 (61.9%), and 4,922 in 1921 (56.3%). On the eve of World War II there were approximately 5,200 Jews living in Grojec.
With the entry of the German army on Sept. 8, 1939, terrorization of the Jewish population began. The synagogue was burned. On Sept. 12, 1939, all men between the ages of 15 and 55 were forced to assemble at the market, and from there were marched on foot to Rawa Mazowiecka, about 37 mi. (60 km.) away. Many were shot on the way. During the spring of 1940 about 500 Jews from Lodz and the vicinity were forced to settle in Grojec. In July 1940 a ghetto was established and the plight of the Jewish inhabitants drastically deteriorated. They suffered from hunger, epidemics, and lack of fuel during the winter of 1940–41. About 1,000 fled to Bialobrzegi and were murdered there or deported to Treblinka in the fall of 1942. The Grojec ghetto was liquidated on February 28, 1942, when most of the remaining Jews were deported to the Warsaw ghetto to share the fate of the Jews there. Of those still in Grojec, 83 were deported after some time to a slave labor camp in Russia near Smolensk, where almost all were murdered. The last 250 Jews were executed in the summer of 1943 in a forest near Gora Kalwaria. After the war the Jewish community in Grojec was not reconstituted. Organizations of former Jewish residents of Grojec were established in Israel, France, the U.S., Canada, and Argentina.
Megillat Gritse (Yid. and some Heb., 1956); Bleter far Geshikhte, 1 pt. 3–4 (1948), 146–8; Megillat Polin, 5 (1961), 278; Halpern, Pinkas, 399.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.