JEDRZEJOW


JEDRZEJOW (Pol. Jędrzejów; Rus. Andreyev), town in Kielce province, S. central Poland. Jewish settlement there was prohibited until 1862, when Jewish families from the surrounding townlets and villages arrived in Jedrzejow. With the impetus given to the town's economy by the opening of the railroad station in 1884, the Jewish population rapidly increased. It numbered approximately 2,050 (45% of the total population) in 1897. The majority engaged in small-scale trading and the traditional crafts, and some were occupied in the grain and timber trade. Jews with capital established timber and flour mills and mechanical workshops. The community was organized during the 1880s. The first rabbi to hold office in Jedrzejow was Moses Mincberg. At the close of the 19th century, *Alexandrow Hasidism (Danziger dynasty) had the widest influence in the community. A Zionist committee was established in 1902, and the local *Po'alei Zion, organized in 1906. During the first weeks of Polish rule after the end of World War I there was a wave of anti-Jewish riots in the vicinity of Jedrzejow. According to the census of 1921, there were approximately 4,600 Jews living in Jedrzejow (about 40% of the total population). Between the two world wars all the Zionist organizations were active in the town, and several groups of youth immigrated to Erez Israel. During the 1930s, with the mounting antisemitism, the struggle of the Jews to retain their economic positions in Jedrzejow became increasingly severe. In 1936 five Jews were murdered in the village of Stawy, near Jedrzejow.

The Hebrew novelist Israel *Zarchi was born in Jedrzejow.

[Arthur Cygielman]

Holocaust Period

The German army entered on Sept. 4, 1939. In the spring of 1940 an "open" ghetto was established. In January 1941 about 600 Jews in the vicinity were concentrated in Jedrzejow. During the summer of 1942 another 2,000 Jews were transferred to the town from other towns nearby, increasing the Jewish population to about 6,000. The entire Jewish population was deported in an Aktion on Sept. 16, 1942, to *Treblinka death camp and only 200 men remained in a camp established inside the former ghetto. In February 1943 all 200 were deported or shot, and Jedrzejow was proclaimed " Judenrein." A number of Jews had succeeded in escaping from the ghetto before the Aktion took place but only a few survived in hiding; most of them were murdered by Polish gangs. After the war the Jewish community in Jedrzejow was not renewed. Organizations of former Jedrzejow residents exist in Israel, the U.S.A., Canada, and Argentina.

[Stefan Krakowski]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce … (1930), 31, 56, 71, 76, 78; S.D. Yerushalmi (ed.), Sefer ha-Zikkaron li-Yhudei Jedrzejow (Heb. and Yid., 1965).


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.