KOLO (Pol. Koło; Yid. Koil), town in Poznan district, central Poland, near the River Varta; passed to Prussia in 1793, and restored to Poland in 1919. Jews were living there in the 15th century, and in 1564 they received the right of residence from King Sigismund II Augustus. In 1611 there were 24 Jewish-owned houses in Kolo. A synagogue was built in 1763–65. During the 19th century, Jews played an important role in the economic development of the town. They owned factories for colored cloths, bricks, porcelain ware, agricultural machinery, and oil, as well as various workshops. In 1897, 52% of the Jews of the town were engaged in commerce. The community numbered 1,184 (37.2% of the total population) in 1827; 4,013 (42.8%) in 1897; 5,154 (45%) in 1921; approximately 6,000 (44%) in 1931; and 5,000 (41.6%) in 1939. Between the two world wars, the Jews continued active in economic life, and, in 1938 37.7% of the workshops in the town were Jewish-owned. Antisemitism in the economic sphere during the 1930s forced them out of several occupations. There were eight Jews among the 24 members elected to the municipal council in 1924 and ten in 1929. The Jewish community administration elected in 1931 consisted of three members for the General Zionists, five for Poalei Zion-Right, four for Poalei Zion-Left, and one for Agudat Israel. Its last chairman was Joseph Schwarz, and the last rabbi of Kolo was Hayyim David Zilber Margalioth (d. 1941), who officiated there for about 50 years.
Sefer Kolo (1958; Heb. and Yid.); Trunk in: Bleter far Geshikhte 2:1–4 (1949), 64–166 (passim); W. Bednarz, Obóz straceń Chełmna nad Nerem (1946); Dabrowska in: BZIH, no. 13–14 (1955).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.