web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



The Old Shtetl Gostynin

The town of Gostynin was founded in the 13th century. It is located on the Skrwa Lewa River, approximately 60 miles northwest of Warsaw and 14 miles southwest of the city of Plock.


The official Jewish community of Gostynin dates from about 1765, though there are reports of Jews owning the town brewery and a malt factory in 1626. In 1765 the community had about 157 members. In 1779 a wooden synagogue was built near the marketplace. The structure burned down in 1899. By the end of the 18th century, Jews formed 26 percent of the population of Gostynin. They were involved in trade, innkeeping, tailoring, the fur business and as butchers.


Between 1823 and 1862 there were special residential quarters for the Jewish population. Yehiel Meir Lipschuetz, a local Chasidic leader and rabbi, lived in Gostynin in the 19th century. By 1921, 1,831 Jews formed 27 percent of the population. There are some estimates that almost 4,000 Jews lived in Gostynin on the eve of the Holocaust, though a more reliable number is 2,269. Jews lived, primarily, in the center of town. The synagogue and beit hamidrash were situated north of the market, near where the train station now stands.


The Jewish community of Gostynin suffered the same fate as thousands of other Jewish communities during the Holocaust. When the German army entered the town in September 1939, there were mass arrests of Jews, and Jewish property was looted and destroyed. The synagogue, which had been rebuilt in 1899, was ordered dismantled so that the wood could be used for fuel for the houses of new German inhabitants of the town. Exorbitant fines were levied by the Nazis against the Jewish community. In January 1941 a ghetto was set up in the town. It occupied the area of Plocka, Buczka, Wojska Polskiego and Bagnista Streets, and was an open ghetto at first. It was later enclosed with barbed wire.


Approximately 3,500 Jews from Gostynin and the nearby town of Gabin (Gombin) lived in the Gostynin Ghetto and were employed in laundries and tailor shops. In August 1941, transports of Jewish men and women to the Konin Concentration Camp and other camps began. The ghetto was liquidated during June and August of 1942, with most ghetto inhabitants being deported to the Chelmno extermination center near the village of Chelmno-nad-Ner, and the rest being taken to the Lodz Ghetto and the Konin Concentration Camp. Other sources report that the ghetto was liquidated on April 16-17, 1942, with 2,000 Jews being taken to the Chelmno death camp.


Gostynin once had two Jewish cemeteries, the “old” and the “new.” The old Jewish cemetery was located in the northeastern part of the town, on a side street that was called the “Lane of the Dead.” The new Jewish cemetery was located on Goscinna Street. No traces of either cemetery exist today. The site of the new Jewish cemetery on Goscinna Street is now owned by the Gostynin municipality and is occasionally cleared of grass and tree saplings. Adjacent properties are recreational and residential. No burials have taken place in the cemetery since 1942.


There are no Jewish residents in Gostynin today. In existence are a number of memorials to the former Jewish community of Gostynin. One large marble plaque is in the Chamber of the Holocaust Memorial Museum on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Gostynin is included in the “Valley of Communities” memorial at Yad Vashem, also in Jerusalem. A Yizkor book for Gostynin, Pinkas Gostynin, was published in 1961 as a joint publication of the New York and Israel Gostynin landsmann groups. Only the Israeli Gostynin landsmann group exists today.


It is not known whether any of the former Jewish sites in Gostynin have markers, though there are a number of war-related markers in the town and in the town cemetery. As was common during the communist era, the wording of the various monuments does not “specifically” refer to Jewish residents of the town. A very well-done promotional booklet for the town of Gostynin, written in Polish, German and English, does refer to Jewish residents of the town and to the murder of most of these Jews by the Nazis during World War II. This booklet was published in recent years. Most of the Jewish vital records of Gostynin were destroyed during the war; some records from ca. 1917 to 1938 are still found in the town’s Civil Records Office.


Former residents of Gostynin are living today in the New York City area and in various parts of Israel. Those with ancestral connections to the town can be found in North America, South America, Israel and England.


Shmuel Ben Eliezer can be contacted at jpolin2@aol.com 




About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Old Shtetl Gostynin”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, dining at the Prime Minister's residence, Jan. 4, 2014.
Is the US Furious Over ‘Israeli’ Criticism of Kerry?
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

What Hashem desires most is that we learn to connect with each other as children in the same family.

Jerusalem to Jericho Road: photograph by Chanan Getraide
“Chanan Getraide Photographs”: 2004 exhibition at Hebrew Union College Museum

“We are living in a Golden Age of Jewish Art, but don’t know it.”

Respler-072514

The real solution to bullying is to empower the bullied child.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

Interestingly, sometimes people who have a very high self-awareness may experience intense reactions to circumstances that others might respond to more mildly.

“You Touro graduates are automatically soldiers in [Israel’s] struggle, and we count on you,” Rothstein told the graduates.

The lemonana was something else. Never had we seen a green drink look so enticing.

On his marriage, he wrote: “This is what I believe: something of the core, of the essence of this meaningful and life-affirming Judaism will not be absent from our home” (1882).

With the recent kidnapping by the Hamas and the barbaric murder of three children – Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Frankel, we believe that the best answer to honor the memory of those murdered is to continue building those very communities – large and small – that our enemies are trying to destroy.

Written entirely through Frayda’s eyes, the reader is drawn by her unassuming personality.

Adopting an ancient exegetical approach that is based on midrashic readings of the text, thematic connections that span between various books of the Bible are revealed.

While Lipman comes from an ultra-Orthodox background and is an Orthodox rabbi, he offers a breath of fresh air when he suggests that “polarization caused by extremism and isolationism in the religious community may be the greatest internal threat to the future of the Jewish people”

More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

Growing up in the U.S. during the second half of the 20th century, I, along with most people, know very little about the First World War. The little that I did know was about the trench warfare in France and Belgium. The Eastern Front was barely, if ever, mentioned and usually stated that it ended with the Russian Revolution and overthrowing the Czar.

Growing up in the U.S. during the second half of the 20th century, I, along with most people, know very little about the First World War. The little that I did know was about the trench warfare in France and Belgium. The Eastern Front was barely, if ever, mentioned and usually stated that it ended with the Russian Revolution and overthrowing the Czar.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/the-old-shtetl-gostynin/2006/03/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: