One of the characteristic features of Goleniów is the fact, that in the 18th century, or even later, in 1812 there were no Jews living there. This was just the opposite in other cities of Nowogard County. The information on the beginning and development of Jewish community in Goleniów are rather poor. The first Jews settled in Goleniów presumably around 1814. It can be only assumed that after 1830 about 30 Jewish families came to the city mainly from the West Prussia and Poznań (Posen), because 10 years later statistical date shows that 165 persons of Jewish descent lived there. It was the highest number ever reached and soon after, in 1849, it fell down to 134. The list of family names that lived in Goleniów between 1814-1874 is included in the book.

These citizens were usually traders for living, also horse trader, as well as craftsmen like tailors, tanners or decorative artists. A Jewish doctor lived there for a short period of time. Between 1814-1844 the number of births in the community was 313 and the number of deaths was 130. During that period 29 marriages were solemnized. The names of Jews descended between 1816-1874 with some more information are in the chart. The number of Jewish community members constituted ca. 2% of all citizens. Between 1871-1898 the number of Jewish citizens decreased from 143 to 129 and was still going down. The community’s leader back then was Fabian Pincoffs and Jacob Silberstein was a teacher and a cantor. There were charitable organizations such as Chewra Kadisza operating in the community and since 1922 also Union of Women (niem. Frauenverein).The names of organizations’ representatives and the names of other community officials involved in such organizations are in the book 1.4]. At the end of the 19th century community’s budget amounted to 1,300 marks.

Until 1907 a number of community members fell down to 100 and in 1912 to as little as 67 members. Nevertheless community’s budget increased and was between 1,800 an 1,900 marks. At the outbreak of World War I Goleniów had 10,000 citizens, where Jews constituted less than 1%. Three Jews from Goleniów were killed on the front during the World War I, they were: Fritz Glaser (1891-1914), Georg Glasfeld (1887-1917) and Willi Schaul (1882-1917). After the war in 1924 a number of community members din’t change and was ca. 66 persons. Also one Jews from nearby Kliniska (Christinenberg) was included in the community. As four little Jewish communities from Kamień Pomorski (Cammin), Nowogard (Naugard), Reska (Regenwalde) and Goleniów faced problems with hiring a teacher due to the financial reasons, they established a so called “district community” (German: Bezirkgemeinde) where Meyer was a teacher. A detailed list of 67 names of Jews living in Goleniów in the beginning of January 1934 are included in the book [1.5]. After 1933, despite Jewish boycott, there were a few Jewish shops and institutions, the list of which, as of 1935, may be found in the book [1.6]. In the following years visiting the places which belonged to Jews was very risky for already terror-stricken citizens. Therefore, Jews were being forced to close their businesses. Oppel, the owner of the biggest department store in the city voluntarily backed out of his business.

During the Crystal Night (November 9/10, 1938) there were anti-Jewish riots directed at Jews who stayed in Goleniów. It is said that the Glasfeld family suffered the most. In 1939 a “racist” census was made, stating by each name how many Jewish ancestors such person had. Interfaith marriages were particularly distinguished. A number of people living in Goleniów at that time had 2 or 3 Jewish ancestors. A list of citizens whose both grandmothers and both grandfathers were Jews is in the book. 16 of the Jews registered in Goleniów lived at a street of inconspicuous name - 10 Pommernweg street, (today Grenadierów street). It took only one glance at a map to understand the inconspicuousness as this was the address of a local prison. The question is why so many people from other part of Poland were in that prison. Back then, when racial segregation was a lawful practice, informing against Jews occurred on a daily basis. Those who served the sentence were very rarely sent home, instead they were sent to concentration camps.

According to some citizens of that time, the Rotholz family and the Glasfeld family were also deported (Adolf Glasfeld was a honor citizen of Goleniów) and Ernestine Oehlrich neé Bielsky was deported to Terezin (Theresienstadt). It is known that Szczecin District was the first in Germany, from where after 1939 Jews were deported do occupied Poland. On the night of February 11/12, 1940 also Jews from Goleniów were taken to Szczecin, and later transported to Lublin. At the end of that year, Jewish Councils of Piaski, Głusko and Bełżyce made lists of Jews who were still living in those towns. As for Głusko and Bełżyce only double-sided copies have preserved. Many elderly Jews on the lists were already dead, but it appears that Bertha Jacoby, Otto Koppel and Alice Koppel were still living in Bełżyce. Both of their daughters Inge and Irma Koppel managed to escape to Sweden. Until 1941 all Jews deported from Szczecin had been living in tragic conditions in Bełżyce ghetto.

Then, on the night of October 28 and 29, 1941 Jewish men, women and children alike were brutally murdered by Gestapo officers. Those few people who have survived were sent to gas chambers or to nearby work camp, whose prisoners were murdered as well in May of 1943.

 

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