Bad Polzin

General information: First Jewish presence: 1711; peak Jewish population: 226 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 120
Summary: Jochim Salomon, a trader, was the first Jew to settle in Bad Polzin (present-day Polcyn Zdroj, Poland). He and his sons traded in haberdashery, fur and wax; one of his sons eventually became a gravedigger, a fact that points to 1752 as the approximate year in which Bad Polzin’s Jewish cemetery was consecrated. Bad Polzin’s Jewish population grew during the late 18th century. Accordingly, the community established a synagogue (33 Muehlenstrasse), a mikveh and a community center. Religious instruction was provided by a teacher/cantor who played a central role in the community’s religious affairs. In 1881, as anti-Semitic riots erupted in Pomerania, Jewish-owned houses were destroyed in Bad Polzin, causing many to leave for safer areas. Nevertheless, Jews still made up 2% of the total population in 1925. The Nazi boycott reduced the sales of Jewish-owned businesses by 80 percent. In response to the increasingly dire economic situation, the remaining Jews sold their community center, school and mikveh. On Pogrom Night, an SS man shot and killed community member Leo Levy. The synagogue was destroyed, after which the building was used as a storage site and later torn down. At least sixty Bad Polzin Jews were murdered during the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks Sources: EJL, FJG, YV
Located in: pomerania