SZYDLOWIEC, town in Kielce province, E. central Poland. As a center of trade, smithery, and production of building materials, Szydlowiec attracted Jewish settlers from the end of the 15th century. By the end of the 17th century there was
After World War I the town quickly developed into a shoe-producing center (with 14 tanneries), completely controlled by Jews, and provided work for many hundreds of shoemakers, fitters, and traveling salesmen. The ten stone quarries also belonged to Jews, and their products were widely distributed. The Jews in Szydlowiec also had a long tradition of trading in hardware. There were several Jewish libraries, trade unions – especially a strong leather workers' union – and groupings of all parties active among Jews in Poland.
On the outbreak of World War II there were about 7,200 Jews in Szydlowiec. On Sept. 23, 1942, 10,000 Jews from Szydlowiec and its vicinity were deported to the *Treblinka death camp. On Nov. 10, 1942, the Germans established four new ghettos in the region (at *Sandomierz, Szydlowiec, *Radomsko, and Vjazd). The Jews were encouraged to leave their hiding places in the forests, being promised security in these ghettos. Thousands of Jews, not seeing any possibility of surviving in the forests during the winter, responded to the German appeal. About 5,000 Jews were concentrated in the ghetto of Szydlowiec. The Jewish community was liquidated when the remaining 5,000 Jews were sent to Treblinka. After the war the Jewish community of Szydlowiec was not reconstituted.
Halpern, Pinkas; N.B. Gelber, in: Historishe Shriftn, 7 (1929), 238–9; S. Kalabiński (ed.), Carat i klasy posiadajaçe w walce z rewolucja 1905 – 1907 w Królestwie Polskim (1956), index; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność źydowska w Polsce w wiekach XIX i XX (1930), 32; A. Rutkowski, in: BŻIH (1955), no. 15–16; idem, in: Folks-Shtime (Yid. Jan. 22, 1958); A. Finkler, Shidlovtse, fun Letstn Khurbn (1948), 105–7; Devar ha-Shavu'a (Jan. 3, 1964).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.