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Radomsko

Other Names

Location

Radomsko is located on the Radomka River (from which it takes its name)  in the southern part of the province of  Piotrkow Trybunalski. Radomsko covers an area of 51 sq. kilometers and is located 38 kilometers NNE of Czestochowa at 51° 04' /19 ° 27'.

Map


Population

 In 1921 the population of Radomsko was 18,732 including 7, 774 Jews. In 1935 there were 12,371 Jews living in Radomsko constituting 55% percent of the city's population. The current population of Radomsko is 51,940 with few if any Jews.
 

History

 Radomsko is one of the oldest cities in Poland with a settlement recorded as early as the 11th and 12th centuries. The first official document in which the new Radomsko settlement is mentioned is dated 1243, but according to the Radomsk Yizkor Book, the city can trace its founding to1266 when the Sieradz Duke, Leshik the Black, issued a document granting privileges to the inhabitants. In 1643, the Polish King Wladyslaw IV granted the town the "privilege" of excluding Jews (Privilegium de non Tolerandis Judaeis) and Jews were forbidden residence in the city. This "privilege" remained in effect until 1862 and included the period in which Radomsk was under the jurisdiction of Czarist Russia as a result of the partition of Poland at the end of the 18th century. During their exclusion from Radomsk, the Jews lived in the nearby village of Bugaj where they built a synagogue, a ritual bath and had their own rabbi. The Bugaj Jews who carried out commercial activities in Radomsk were required to leave the town in the evening. The village of Bugaj was annexed by the city of Radomsk at the beginning of the 19th century at which time a Synagogue Committee was organized. The committee was the first Jewish institution in Radomsk. The first rabbi of the Radomsk kehile (community) was ordained in 1834 and a synagogue was built. (The Great Synagogue was finished at the end of the 19th century.) The Radomsko hasidic dynasty was founded in 1843 and a hasidic court was established. With the opening of the Vienna-Warsaw railroad in 1846, the community experienced rapid development. Carpentry, weaving, and the timber and grain trades were the principle occupations of the Jews of Radomsk. Factories, hotels, and restaurants established by the more well-to-do Jews employed around 500 Jews. With Polish independence in 1919, the number of Jewish workers in furniture and metal goods factories and in printing plants doubled. The city council elected in 1926 had eight Jewish members out of a total of 24. A Jewish high school opened in 1916 and there were two government elementary schools.

Holocaust

[Photograph taken at Treblinka Memorial, July 1997, © 1999 Gloria Berkenstat Freund) Radomsko was bombed by Germany for the first time on September 2nd, 1939, one day after the German invasion of Poland. The next day, on September 3rd, 1939, the German army entered the city and immediately started its campaign of terror against the Jewish population. A closed ghetto was established in Radomsko by a decree issued on December 20th, 1939. All of the Jews from the surrounding districts were "concentrated" within the ghetto. In 1942, from October 9th to 12th, the Nazis carried out an Aktion during which almost the entire remaining Jewish population was deported to Treblinka death camp and murdered.
 
 
 



Martyrdom of the Radomsker Rebbe

 

Radomsker rebbe

[Sunday, 19th April 1950 The Day-Morning Journal: Radomsker Rebbe Who Perished in Jewish Martyrdom in the Warsaw Ghetto]


Click here to read a translation of the article referenced above.

Synagogue

"In front of the four-story structure  was a tablet with the Ten Commandments in gilded letters. The magnificent doors were furnished with windows on which were drawings of lions. The door led to a long and wide corridor, through two other doors into the synagogue.  In the center of the synagogue stood a high reading desk. On the ceiling hung beautiful chandeliers. Still other chandeliers hung down from the ceiling which was painted in the form of a blue sky with stars. On one side was a painting of night, the moon and the stars, on the other side a painting of the sun and the zodiac. In every chandelier there were a lot of smooth glass sparkling lights and when the lights were lit, one got the impression of finding themselves in another world. In addition, the factory windows threw light on the shul. Around the temple [on the second floor] on three sides was the big women’s shul" (From the Radomsko Yizkor Book, translated from the original Yiddish by Gloria Berkenstat Freund ©1999)

Cemetery

The Jewish Cemetery, which is listed as an historic landmark, is located at Swierczewskiego Street 196, formerly known as Przedborska Street.  There is a caretaker living in a house on the grounds of the cemetery who has the keys to unlock the gates of the masonry wall which surrounds the cemetery. There are over one thousand tombstones, the earliest dating from 1816. The ohel (tomb) of the Radomsker Rebbes is still visited by Radomsker Hasidim. The cemetery is a jungle within a forest with overgrown trees, vines and bushes. There are berries growing over sunken graves. Because of the collapsed graves and the inability to see these depressions, there is a danger of  falling. The site of a memorial to the Jewish martyrs of Radomsko who were deported to Treblinka or who were victims of mass executions is in a clear area and is fairly well maintained.

Pictures


The Kinema 'teatr' in Noworadomsk where movies were shown before the Second World.
 
 


 

[Pre-WW II postal card of Reymonta Street]
 
 

 


 [Present day Reymonta Street, July 1997, © 1999 Gloria Berkenstat Freund]

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Webpage compiled by Gloria Berkenstat Freund © All rights reserved.

Last update: January 4, 2010