In 1712 the fee for Jews wishing to settle in the town was established at 8 thalers. The report of 8 May 1714 by the mayor and the town council shows that a Jewish merchant had lived in Trzebiatów for some time before establishing the fee. However, Trzebiatów was identified as a disadvantageous town for Jewish settlers because their main source of income was the wool trade, which was of very poor quality in the area. For this reason, the Jewish merchant did not stay in Trzebiatów for long. A certain Abraham Joseph was refused permission to settle in the town, not only because of the poor wool but also because the town did not have any vacant houses into which he could move, and none of the residents wanted to accommodate him. The situation must have changed, however, because a document entitled ”On Jews in the Pomeranian Towns” of 1722 stated that Joachim (Jochim) David lived in Trzebiatów, and his income was described as modest. He received his privileges on 25 February 1695 and most likely lived in the town since 1721. At the same time, local merchants asked not to allow any more Jews to settle in the town, arguing that this would negatively affect their businesses and the establishment manufacturing hosiery in the town.  A list published in 1728 tracking fees paid by Jews for protection by the government reveals that Jochim David paid 14 thalers and 22 groschen, and his son, David Jochim, paid 20 thalers and 12 groschen. And a certain Isaac, most likely hired by Jochim David as a farmhand, paid 15 thalers and 14 groschen. Jochim David also hired a maid; she, however, was exempt from paying any fees. As Trzebiatów was a town owned by the state, Jochim David was also responsible for keeping the accounts and collecting the fees from other Jews living there. 

A report by the municipal council of 1737 states that he estimated his estate to be worth 935 thalers, while Isaac Ephraim, who also lived in the town at the time, considered that his property was worth 2,310 thalers. Compared to the Jews living in other towns and cities of Pomerania, we notice that the financial situation of the Jews in Trzebiatów was exceptionally good. In 1749, when the royal government enacted a law requiring Jews to supply the government with silver of a certain value, three Jews living in Trzebiatów had to meet its demands. They were Isaac Ephraim, who paid 4 marks, David Jochim, who paid 3 marks, and the widow of Salomon Jochim, who paid 1 mark. 

By 1752 there were 17 residents of Jewish descent in Trzebiatów, living in four families. In contrast, the 1764 census included seven families.

A rescript issued on 12 July 1768 by the Pomeranian Chamber (Ger. Pommersche Kammer) of Szczecin directed to the municipal council of Trzebiatów informed of an upcoming meeting of Jewish elders to be held in Trzebiatów under the chairmanship of local Jews and specified its course. Another rescript of the Pomerania Chamber, directed to the municipal council of Koszalin this time round, confirmed that on 6 January 1772, a meeting of the Jewish elders would take place in Trzebiatów and would be chaired by a local trustee named Moldenhauer. This meeting primarily focused on electing new members to the eldership and discussing the fees paid for privileges, over which complaints always arose. It is important to note that one of the duties of the eldership, as it was in other provinces, was to keep a record of the dates of circumcisions performed on Jewish boys and the dates of births of Jewish girls. This information, similar to the records for Christian baptisms, was used to determine the ages of members of the kehilla. In 1812, when Jews were forced to assume Prussian citizenship and adopt official last names, there were 12 Jewish families in Trzebiatów. They made up approximately 1% of the whole population, which at that time numbered 3,600 residents.

The kehilla in Trzebiatów developed similarly to other communities in other Pomeranian towns.  By 1840 the number of Jewish residents had grown to 143, and by 1871 it had reached its peak with 267 people. In the following years, the kehilla steadily declined because many members moved to larger towns and cities. However, information regarding the life of the Jewish community before 1880 is scarce. We know that in 1876 eighteen members of the kehilla owned property in the town.

In 1880, 212 Jews lived in Trzebiatów, while in about 1886, there were only 154.  They comprised approximately 3% of the total population of the town, which numbered about 5,000 at that time. The kehilla had a religious school for about 20 students.

In the second half of the 19th century, the kehilla built a synagogue. There were also two active charity organizations, Chevra Kadisha and Jewish Women’s Association (Israelitischer Frauenverein). Their goal was to aid those in need in the town and in neighbouring areas. In 1893, the kehilla was comprised of 38 Jewish families, and two years later – 37 families, which translated into 114 people. The number of children attending the school first fell to 12, and later to only 6.  Seven Jewish children attended lower-secondary school in 1895. The budget of the kehilla in 1897 was 2,419 marks, of which 1,050 marks were earmarked for the teacher’s salary.

At the beginning of the 20th century, in 1902, Trzebiatów still had quite a big Jewish population consisting of 108 people.  At that time, 6,600 people lived in the town. In 1905, in addition to Szczecin, which was inhabited by 923 Jews in 1885, accounting for 0.9 % of the total population, there were kehillas in 22 towns of Pomerania. The relatively most numerous ones, including between 600 and 1,300 people, were located in Słupsk (Stolp), Stargard Szczeciński (Stargard), Kołobrzeg (Kolberg), Koszalin (Köslin), Lębork (Lauenburg), Świdwin (Schivelbein), Szczecinek (Neustettin), Bytów (Bütow), Pyrzyce (Pyritz), Pasewalk and Białogard. Hence, the kehilla in Trzebiatów was a small one.

The charter of the synagogue of 23 July 1847 attests to its existence. The kehilla precinct covered the town of Trzebiatów as well as the following villages: Dargosław (Dargislaff), Łatno (Altendorf), Uniestowo (Nestau), Mołstowo (Molstow), Niedysz (Neides), Karnice (Karnitz), Darżewo (Darsow), Pustkowo (Pustchow), Trzęsacz (Hoff an der Ostsee), Rewal (Rewahl), Śliwin (Schleffin), Ninikowo (Ninikow), Skrobotowo (Schruptow), Gocławice (Gützelfitz, obecnie nie istnieje), Mojszewo (Groß Moitzow), Cerkwica (Zirkwitz), Trzeszyn (Tressin), Czaplin Wielki (Groß Zapplin), Czaplin Mały (Klein Zapplin), Borzęcin (Borntin), Wlewo (Wefelow), Kłodkowo (Klätkow), Węgorzyno (Wangerin), Chomętowo (Gumtow), Sadlno (Zedlin), Drozdowo (Hohendrosedow), Kusin, Lędzin (Lensin), Niechorze (Horst), Skalno (Eiersberg), Konarzewo (Kirchhagen), Rogozina (Mittelhagen), Bieczyno (Hagenow), Gorzysław (Arnsberg), Bielikowo (Behlkow), Gosław (Gützlaffshagen), Mrzeżyno (Deep), Roby (Robe), Kępa, Ostrowo, Karcino (Langenhagen), Sarbia (Zarben), Gołańcz Pomorska (Glansee), Siemidarżno (Zimdarse), Lewice (Lewetzow), Mirosławice (Gumminshof), Gąbin (Gummin), Żukowo (Suckowshof).

The charter of the synagogue of 1847 was updated in 1927[1.1].

Until 1913, both the number of members of the kehilla and its budget remained steady. Only the number of children fell, with only four attending school.  For this reason, after S. Zadikow left the kehilla, who was its teacher, chazan and butcher since 1907, the kehilla did not hire anyone to replace him, and the children were educated by a teacher from Gryfice (Greifenberg) named Moses.

Two soldiers from Trzebiatów of Jewish descent lost their lives on the fronts of World War I. In the years following the war, the kehilla faced financial difficulties caused by the need to renovate the synagogue and cemetery. The works were to cost between 8,000 and 13,500 marks. It is worth noting that the number of members of the kehilla had significantly dropped, and by 1924 was down to 60 people, with only 10 taxpayers. The kehilla made up less than 1% of the town’s population. In 1932, the kehilla had 50 members, but one year later, the slow process of its dissolution began. At the beginning of 1935, some 15 Jews probably still lived in Trzebiatów. 

Despite the fact that in time more than half of the Jewish population of Trzebiatów immigrated to Berlin or other German cities, the 1939 census showed the town still had 21 Jewish residents. Some of these people left the town shortly afterwards; however, those who were unable to leave were deported east on 10 July 1942. Detailed information about this transport is not available. However, we know that at the end of August 1942, Lina (according to other sources Helene) Friedländer, née Feibel, of Lange Straße 62 (currently Wojska Polskiego Street) was deported to Terezin (Theresienstadt). Nothing else is known about her later fate.

Bibliography

  • R. T. Korek, Żydzi w Trzebiatowie, in: W. Łysiak (ed.), Trzebiatów. Historia i Kultura, part 2, Poznań 2001.
  • Salinger G., Zur Erinnerung und zum Gedenken. Die einstigen jüdischen Gemeinde in Pommern, vol. 3, New York 2006, pp. 834–842.

 

 

 

 

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Footnotes
  • [1.1] R. T. Korek, Żydzi w Trzebiatowie (Jews in Trzebiatów), in: W. Łysiak (ed.), Trzebiatów. Historia i Kultura II (Trzebiatów. History and Culture II), part 2, Poznań 2001, p. 112.