Municipal Coat of ArmsCoordinates for Działoszyn51°07' N, 18°52' EAlternate namesDziałoszyn [Pol], Zaloshin [Yid], Dzyaloshin [Rus], Dilltal [Ger, 1939-45], Dzaloshin, ChernokinitsGmina Działoszyn is an urban-rural administrative district in Wielun County, Lódz Voivodeship, in central Poland. The municipality administrative centre is the village of Działoszyn, which lies approximately which lies approximately 10 kilometres (6 mi) west of Pajęczno and 85 km (53 mi) south-west of the regional capital Łódź. The gmina covers an area of 120.59 square kilometres (46.6 sq mi), and as of 2006 its total population is 12,908 (6276 in the village).
Thanks & AcknowledgementsThe information contained in these KehilaLinks pages have been compiled from a number of sources but a special mention should be made for the help given by Tomek Wisniewski whose exceptional photographic collection of pre 1945 Poland can be found at http://bagnowka.com/
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These pages are a basic introduction to the rural town of Działoszyn and to aspects of its former Jewish life and history. Today it is an administrative centre for the villages and hamlets of the area and is one of a cluster of towns, villages and hamlets at the southern reaches of the River Wartawhich, before the Second World War, had long established mixed Jewish and Christian communities.The shtetl Działoszyn’s lies in a valley, ringed by fields and upland hills. The River Warta flows past the town and divides it in two. The town has regularly suffered from floods. Such incidents may account for the very limited amount of Jewish historic registers available for the town - and for those births, marriages and deaths registers that there are still in existence being water damaged.The town is adjacent to the ancient border between Lower Silesia and the Kingdom of Poland and was one of the key market towns that played a part in the cross border trade between Poland, Prussia and Bohemia.Działoszyn’s early history was closely link to the noble family of Mêciñski. This family of Calvinist Christians were active in the Polish reformation and enlightenment. They owned the town of Działoszyn, amongst a number of possessions, and they were also the hereditary overlords of the nearby city of Wieluń. This family was instrumental in both allowing the Jews of the region to undertake their livelihoods in Wieluń - in the face of considerable opposition - and in providing a refuge for the Jews of the area when they were expelled from elsewhere.
Działoszyn’s Jewish Community
The town’s glory years were in the 18th century when it was a bustling double market town, with commercial relationships stretching into Germany and Bohemia. The town’s 19th and 20th century history was much less glorious. From 1793 it was under the heal of the Prussians and then, in the early 19th century it effectively became a managed outpost of the Imperial Russians. Through this colonial oppression the area slowly became a backwater Finally, under the Imperial Russians, no longer allowed to trade with the northern world and a place where non- indigenous Jews were forbidden to visit or live. The majority of the Jewish population of the area lived within the village itself and before 1939 the Jewish population constituted around 60% of the total population (that is approximately 700 adults) of a population of around 1,400. There are small indications that the relationship between the Christian and Jewish populations was close, but undoubtedly it was historic. In many town’s in the area the relationship between the Jewish and Christian communities was positive. There are clear indications that in Działoszyn this was also the case. The most notable example is the attested participation in Jewish festivals of the local population and more specifically the non Jewish civic officials - with the town’s Mayor plus others attending the synagogue on Rosh Hashana. However, there was a clearly identified period during the 1930’s when there was considerable persecution of the Jewish population by a locally based quasi Nazi group. By the end of the Second World War - the Jewish Community of this ancient town had been liquidated, ending a history of over 400 years in the region.
A remembrance service held in Działoszyn in September 2009 to recall the 70th anniversary of the start of the Second World War and to remember the people of Działoszyn who lost their lives - photograph courtesy of www.Działoszyn.pl