Maerkisch Friedland

General information: First Jewish presence: 16th century; peak Jewish population: 1,144 in 1816; Jewish population in 1933: 70
Summary: In the late 16th century, Jews from Brandenburg were invited to settle in Maerkisch Friedland (today Mirosławiec, Poland) to help develop its economy; a second wave of Jewish arrivals in 1715 helped stimulate the economy further. By the beginning of the 19th century, the Jewish community of Maerkisch Friedland was the largest in Western Pomerania, its 1,053 Jews constituting about half of the town’s population. Maerkisch Friedland was ravaged by fire in 1754; it is not clear whether or not a synagogue existed prior to the blaze, but if so, it was not until fifteen years after the fire that another was built. The Jewish community established a Jewish elementary school in or around 1820 (it was closed in approximately 1880) and a new synagogue in 1840. From in 1830 onwards, however, the Jewish population dwindled. The synagogue was destroyed on Pogrom Night, as were the few remaining Jewish-owned stores. In March 1940, Maerkisch Friedland’s remaining Jews were deported.
Author / Sources: Fred Gottlieb
Sources: EJL, LJG
Located in: pomerania