KROTOSZYN (Ger. Krotoschin), town in the province of Poznan, Poland. The Jewish community was established in the 14th century, and by virtue of an ancient privilege allowing the Jews to trade, engage in crafts, and build houses, the community prospered. The privilege was reissued in 1638 by the owners of the town, and ratified and extended in 1648 and in 1673. In the course of the wars which ravaged Poland in the 17th century, the Jews suffered severely. Polish troops headed by the hetman *Czarniecky murdered 350 Jewish families out of 400 in Krotoszyn in 1656 during the war against the Swedes. Later the Jewish community recovered and its representatives filled important functions in the *Councils of Four Lands. Especially notable were Avigdor b. Abraham Katz, who in 1671 took part in the negotiations with Cristof Bressler of Breslau concerning the debt owed him by the Polish Jews, and Leibel
Krotoszyn was known as a center of Jewish learning and scholarship. Shabbetai *Bass, the rabbis Menahem Mendel b. Meshullam Auerbach, author of Ateret Zekenim, Moses Jekutiel Kaufmann, author of Leḥem ha-Panim, and Benjamin b. Saul Katzenelbogen were active there. In the 19th century the scholars David *Joel and Eduard *Baneth served as rabbis in Krotoszyn.
[Shimshon Leib Kirshenboim]
In 1833 Dov Baer (Baer Loeb) Monash (1801–1876) set up a press in Krotoszyn which was active until 1901. Monash had learned the trade (and obtained the Hebrew type) from *Dyhernfurth. The most important books printed by him were a five-volume Pentateuch with Onkelos, Rashi, haftarot, and German translation by Johlson (1837); a 12-volume Bible with Onkelos, Rashi, and German translation (1839–43); and a maḥzor (Minḥah Ḥadashah, 1838). The Hebrew press in Krotoszyn was known through its edition of the Jerusalem Talmud which has become standard (1866–67). The most beautiful production of this press was Isaac *Aboab's Menorat ha-Ma'or, with German translation by Fuerstenthal and Behrend (1845–48). Here also were printed – though not in Hebrew – 17 volumes of the *Monatsschrift fuer Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums (1869ff.).
Before the outbreak of World War II Krotoszyn had only 17 Jews. Under Nazi occupation, the town belonged to the district of Posen of the Warthegau. On November 21, 1939, the remaining Jews were deported to the Lodz ghetto.
L. Lewin, in: MGWJ, 77 (1933), 464ff.; Posner, in: Aresheth 1 (1949), 260–78; D.D. Dąbrowska, in: BŻIH, 13–14 (1955). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Berger, Zur Geschichte der Juden in Krotoschin (1907).
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.