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Virtual Jewish World: Gorzow Wielkopolski, Poland

GORZOW WIELKOPOLSKI (Ger. Landsberg an der Warthe), town in Poland, before 1945 in Brandenburg. A Jewish quarter and synagogue are first mentioned in 1557, though the community probably originated in the 14th century. It ceased to exist in 1573 when Jews were expelled from the whole of Brandenburg. Toward the middle of the 17th; century, Jews attended the Landsberg fairs and soon after renewed their permanent settlement in the city. In 1662 Solomon Kajjem Kaddish was rabbi of the city and in 1672 his authority was extended to include all Brandenburg. He was succeeded by Benjamin Wolff Liebmann. In 1690, 21 Jewish families lived in the city; their number had increased to 417 persons by 1717. In that year, however, all Jews without right of domicile were banished and only 96 remained. They were active in the wool trade and the leather industry. A synagogue was built in 1755 and was used until 1854. The community grew from 304 in 1817 to 730 in 1871 but declined to 435 in 1933. Six charitable organizations, a school, and a cemetery were maintained in 1932 as well as an old-age home which had been opened in 1928. The community diminished during the Nazi era to 180 in 1936 and 95 in 1939; eight of the community were deported to Czechoslovakia on Aug. 27, 1942.

Sources:B. Elsass, in: MGJV, 16 (1905), 95–103; MGADJ, 1 (1909), 9–29; FJW, 66; O. Lassaly, in: MGWJ, 80 (1936), 406–24; E. Keyser (ed.), Deutsches Staedtebuch (1939), 776; PK Germanyah; S. Stern, Der Preussische Staat und die Juden, 1 (1962), Akten, index; 2 (1962), Akten, nos. 45, 146, 170, 171, 172, 252, 269, 294. Part of the communal archives (1717–1912) are in the CAHJP, Jerusalem.

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