web analytics
February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The Old Shtetl Kurzelow

Kurzelow is mentioned first in the 12th century, in a pastoral dispatch of the pope of that time, who fixed in it a new ecclesiastical district. In 1285 the privileges of a town were granted along with permission to hold a weekly market day. In 1540 there were 85 houses, and in the beginning of the 17th century there was a flour mill, smithy and a factory of iron products. Around that time, guilds of tailors, blacksmiths and furriers were farmed. In the middle of the 17th century, Swedish invaders conquered Kurzelow and spread destruction and ruin. After that Kurzelow declined and its position deteriorated. Only in the 19th century was there economical and demographic growth again.




Jewish inhabitants of Kurzelow are first mentioned in the beginning of the 19th century. They were very few in number. And even during World War I, when the Jewish settlement reached its climax, it numbered no more than 50 families.


In the period between the two world wars, there was a study house (Beth Midrash) which was large enough to accept all the praying Jews from the surrounding villages. The mother community of Kurzelow was Wloszczowa. We don’t have information about the public life of the Jews of Kurzelow. It is possible that due to the small number and lack of sources of livelihood, the number of Jewish citizens had decreased. Another reason for the Jews to leave were symptoms of anti-Semitism, which had increased in the 1930′s


Kurzelow was conquered by the Germans in early September 1939. There were then 119 Jews living in Kurzelow. Since it was a small and remote place, the Germans didn’t settle in it and left local rule to the Poles. For that reason, life in this community continued calmly. The local Jews were under the Judenrat of Wloszczowa. In February 1940, the Judenrat of Wloszczowa transferred to Kurzelow 275 Jewish refugees deported from Wloclawek. The refugees arrived exhausted, sick and hungry, and the welfare committee in Kurzelow helped them as much as they could. On March 10, 1940, a public kitchen was opened and it served about 300 hot meals daily to the hungry refugees. Other aid included beds, clothes and medicines.


During July of 1940, a ghetto was erected in Wloszczowa, and the ability of the Judenrat to aid the Jews of Kurzelow decreased. The refugees remained in Kurzelow until mid-September 1942, when an aktion took place in Kurzelow. In the beginning, 13 Jews were murdered on the spot. The rest of the ghetto, local residents and refugees, were deported to Wloszczowa. Two days before Yom Kippur 1942, everyone was deported to the death camp at Treblinka. In 1942, after the Jews were expelled, three Gestapo men arrived in Kurzelow and murdered seven Jews – five men and two women – who had been in hiding and were handed over to the Germans.


At Treblinka there is an impressive monument to the three quarters of a million Jews who were murdered there, with engraved stones representing all the communities from which the victims came. For some reason there is no stone in memory of the Jews of Kurzelow. A campaign has been launched by survivors of Kurzelow to correct this oversight, led by Ada Holtzman of Tel Aviv.


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 Kurzelow”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The United States condemned Iran for honoring Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh but is not so bothered when Abbas honors PA terrorists.
CIA, Mossad Collaborated on Killing Hezbollah No. 2 Leader in Damascus
Latest Sections Stories
South-Florida-logo

The musical production was beautifully performed by the middle school students.

South-Florida-logo

Greige offered a post of her own. She said, “I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel.” She contends that she was photobombed.

South-Florida-logo

This year, 40 couples were helped. The organization needs the support of the extended Jewish community so that it can continue in its important work.

In the introduction to the first volume, R. Katz discusses the Torah ideal, arguing that the Torah’s laws are intended to craft the perfect man and are not to be regarded as ends unto themselves.

A highlight of the evening was the video produced by the Kleinman Family Holocaust Education Center on the legendary Agudah askan Reb Elimelech (Mike) Tress, a true Jewish hero.

Until recently his films were largely forgotten, but with their release last year on DVD by Re:Voir Video in Paris they are once again available.

Though the CCAR supported the Jewish right to emigrate to Eretz Yisrael, it strenuously objected to defining Palestine as the Jewish homeland.

“Well, you are also part of this class! If someone drills a hole in the boat, the boat will ultimately sink, and even the innocent ones will perish as well. The whole class must be punished!”

Nouril concluded he had no choice: He had to become more observant.

I find his mother to be a difficult person and my nature is to stay away from people like that.

Here are some recipes to make your Chag La’Illanot a festive one.

Does standing under the chuppah signal the end of our dream of romance and beautiful sunsets?

We aren’t at a platform; we are underground, just sitting there.

More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Lauder receiving a special album from Rabbi Maciej Pawlak, director of the Lauder-Morasha school in Warsaw.

In 1989 he hosted a dinner for 157 young Jews with the late Rabbi Chaskel Besser and the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland was born.

Part of the reconstructed Gwozdziec Synagogue.

The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews is designed to tell the whole thousand-year story of the Jews in Poland.

I REMEMBER WHEN I first started working at the Jewish Press 18 years ago, Arnie who was in charge of the newsroom, took me under his wing…

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/the-old-shtetl-kurzelow/2006/03/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: