LUTOMIERSK


LUTOMIERSK, a suburb of Lodz, central Poland (formerly a town). Jews first settled in Lutomiersk, which had then an independent municipal status, at the end of the 17th century, and an organized community existed from the 18th century. In 1765, there were 404 Jews living in the town and 41 in eight surrounding villages. Lutomiersk belonged to the Sieradz and Wielun areas, where, according to decisions of the Sejmik (provincial parliament) of 1786, 1787, and 1788, Jews were forbidden to lease inns, taverns, and breweries. At the end of the 18th century four Jews founded a tannery; another Jew, Pinkus Israel, established a cloth factory in 1787, employing 20–30 workers. In 1796 this factory was commissioned by the Prussian government to supply cloth to the army in the province. The wooden synagogue, built in the 18th century by Hillel Benjamin of Lask, burned down during World War I (1915). The Jewish community numbered 657 (53% of the total population) in 1808 and 1,102 (51%) in 1827. Apart from shopkeeping, they were engaged mainly in weaving, tanning, tailoring, and carpentry. In 1857 their number had declined to 999 (46%) because many had moved to Lodz. They numbered 992 (38%) in 1897 and 775 (35%) in 1921 and 750 in 1939. A 1921 report of the *American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee mentioned 58 Jewish enterprises in Lutomiersk, 36 of which employed salaried workers.

[Encyclopaedia Judaica (Germany)]

Holocaust Period

When World War II broke out there were about 2,000 Jews living in Lutomiersk. The anti-Jewish terror began with the arrival of the Germans. Jews were kidnapped in the streets for hard and humiliating labor, their beards were cut off, and their property was requisitioned. Just before the occupation and within its first weeks, nearly 1,300 Jews escaped and by October 1939, only 750 Jews remained in Lutomiersk. In the summer of 1940 an open ghetto was created, but a year later it was closed off and no one could leave without a pass. Groups of Jews were daily led out of the ghetto for hard labor. At the end of 1941, the German authorities established a tailor shop for 20 Jewish tailors, which took many orders and provided the Jews with a small income. Lutomiersk ghetto was liquidated at the end of July 1942, when the surviving Jews were deported to the death camp in *Chelmno.

[Danuta Dombrowska]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Warsaw, Archiwum Główne, Departymenta pogłównego żydowskiego: Contribution to the Jewish Question, no. 741; Warsaw, Archiwum Skarbowe, Memoranda to the Finance Commission, nos. 36 fol. 227, 38 fol. 103; I. Schiper, Dzieje handlu zydowskiego na ziemiach polskich (1937), 321, 324; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce… (1930), 51; A. Breier, M. Eisler, and M. Grunwald, Holzsynagogen in Polen (1934), 28, 30, 35, 36, 39; E. Heller (ed.), Żydowskie przedsiębiorstwa przmysłowe w Polsce…, 2 (1923); R. Mahler, Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; D. Dabrowska, in: BŻIH, 13–14 (1955), 122–84, passim; Yad Vashem Archives, IM-837, IM-1209/4. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Goldberg, "Ludnosc zydowska w Lutomiersku w drugiej polowie XVIII wieku i jej walka z feudalnym uciskiem," in: BZIH (1956), nos. 15–16.


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