Jews started to settle in Radzymin in the 17th century. In 1827, there were 432 Jews living in the town, which constituted 33% of the entire population. In the middle of the 19th century, this number grew significantly and reached 1,278, which amounted to ca. 70% of the total population. In 1897, there were 2,133 Jews in the town, that is 53% of all inhabitants[1.1].

In the 19th century, Radzymin became an important centre of the Hasidic movement, focused around tzadik Yakov Arye Guterman. In the years 1907–1908, a young boy called Isaac Bashevis Singer lived in the town; he was the son of the rabbi of Radzymin and went on to become one of the most famous authors writing in Yiddish, awarded the Nobel Prize in 1978.

In 1921, 2,209 Jews lived in Radzymin, constituting 55% of the town’s population. In 1931, the number of Jewish inhabitants grew to 3,559 (52,6%). The Jewish community owned three synagogues, a cheder and a yeshiva established by the local followers of Hasidism.

Various Zionist parties had great influence on the political life of the town. In the election to the Municipal Council, Zionists won seven out of ten seats reserved for Jews. They also won six seats in the election to the Community Board, while the Aguda won only two[1.2].

When German troops entered Radzymin in September 1939, the town had ca. 3,900 Jewish inhabitants. In the autumn of 1940, Germans created a ghetto in the town. It housed Jews from Radzymin and people displaced from nearby localities. On 3 October 1942, all Jews residing in Radzymin were sent to the extermination camp in Treblinka.

After the end of the war,  the Jewish Committee was established in Radzymin. Its Board consisted of: Leon Wejsztein (chairman), Zofia Sikora, Abram Szafran, Dwojra Zomer. On 18 April 1945, the Committee had 45 members. On 10 January 1946 their number fell to 25. Further developments in the lives of Jews from Radzymin remain unknown. It can be assumed that most of them left Poland over the following years[1.3].

 

Bibliography

  • Kirshenboim S. L., Radzymin, [in] Encyclopaedia Judaica, eds. M. Berenbaum, F. Skolnik, vol. 17, Detroit 2007, p. 61.

  • Sefer zikaron le-kehilat Radzymin, Tel Aviv 1975. 

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Footnotes
  • [1.1] Kirshenboim S. L., Radzymin, [in] Encyclopaedia Judaica, eds. M. Berenbaum, F. Skolnik, vol. 17, Detroit 2007, p. 61.
  • [1.2] Kirshenboim S. L., Radzymin, [in] Encyclopaedia Judaica, eds. M. Berenbaum, F. Skolnik, vol. 17, Detroit 2007, p. 61.
  • [1.3] Skibińska A., Powroty ocalałych, [in] Prowincja noc. Życie i zagłada Żydów w dystrykcie warszawskim, eds. B. Engelking, J. Leociak, D. Libionka, Warsaw 2007, pp. 505–599.