In 1596, a town called Florianów was founded on roughly the same area today occupied by Nakło. The owner, Florian Łaszcz Nieledowski, exempted the local population from paying taxes for a period of 13 years. The tax relief also applied to Jews – at that time, there were already a cantor’s house and a shkolnik’s house in the settlement, as well as a shelter for the poor. Jewish people had likely settled in the area in the 17th century. Apart from tax exemptions, Jews were also granted permission to own four houses in Florianów. Preserved source documents indicate that in 1616, there was a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery in the town. The latter was also used by Jews from nearby Lipsko, who had received a permanent permit do to so from the town owner. In 1635, there were 218 houses in Florianów, including 50 inhabited by Jews.

In 1648, the town was plundered by Khmelnitsky’s troops. The soldiers murdered the local Jewish population and Jews from other localities who had sought shelter in Florianów, reportedly as many as 40,000 people. The Jews barricaded themselves in the synagogue, but the Cossacks eventually broke through and murdered most people inside (according to Jewish sources, as many as 12,000). They then set the building on fire and desecrated the holy scriptures, using the parchment to sew boots. One of the survivors of the massacre was mathematician and physician Moses Kohen, who later left for France and became the rabbi of Metz.

Florianów never recovered from the damage wreaked by the Cossacks. The local population settled more to the west, founding a locality called Nakło. In 1660, it had only 25 houses, including five Jewish. A synagogue reportedly operated in the settlement. Mere four years later, Nakło was inhabited by as many as 43 Jewish families, around 180 people. At the time, the town had some 450 residents in total. Nakło was going through financial struggles which resulted in dwindling of the local population – in 1692, there were only 28 Jewish families living there, and in 1752, there were only 29 houses, including 22 Jewish. In 1779, Nakło had 287 Jewish inhabitants.

The early 19th century saw growing influence of the Hasidic movement among the Jewish population of Nakło. The town was home to a Hasidic dynasty founded by Yaakov Reinman (1778–1814), the local rabbi.

In 1870, the Jewish community had 689 members and owned three houses of prayer. It still used the same cemetery. In 1880, there were 806 Jews living in Nakło. Twenty years later, the community comprised 1,347 members, but it had only one synagogue and shared the rabbi with the community in Lipsko. In the years 1879–1900, the post was held by Salomon Reiman.

In September 1914, the town was almost completely brought to the ground by Austrian troops. The number of Jews living in Nakło dropped to 734, that is 40.4% of the entire population.

The local Craftsmen’s Guild accepted both Polish and Jewish members. Nakło also boasted a unit of the Central Association of Jewish Craftsmen in Poland and the Yad Chareuzim Association of Jewish Artisan Producers. There was also a cooperative bank called the Credit Union.

At the beginning of the German occupation in 1939, a part of the Jewish population of Nakło escaped to Rawa Ruska, located in the Soviet occupation zone. The Germans set fire to the synagogue and vandalised the cemetery, using tombstones to pave local roads. In 1940, a labour camp for Jews was opened in Nakło. In 1942, some of the Jews residing in Nakło were killed on the spot, while the rest were transported to the death camp in Bełżec.

Bibliography

  • Potocki A., Żydzi w Podkarpackiem, Rzeszów 2004.
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