Hospice for  the Old and Infirm of the Salomon Beniamin Latz Foundation

The Hospice for the Old and Infirm of the Salomon Beniamin Latz Foundation was located at 15-18 Żydowska Street. The building was erected in 1910 and designed by Alfred Grotte, a professor of the Royal School of Building Crafts in Poznań. The works were carried out under the supervision of the local architect, Martin Sonnabend. The building was ready for use on 15 December 1909. A day before, the Beit ha-Midrash was consecrated. The hospice had 36 rooms for infirm people, utility rooms, an apartment for an inspector and an apartment for a cantor. Until 1939, the last Poznań rabbi (from the synagogue at Stawna street), Szyja Sender, resided there. The upper floors housed waiting rooms. There was a wide and comfortable staircase, but the guests could use an electric lift.

The Beit ha-Midrash chamber was located the ground and first floors. It was about 6 metres high. The two-storey building was separated from the streets with a wall (non-existent today) crowned with a wooden fence and an ornamented gate.

The Community Headquarters

The impressive headquarters of the Jewish Community’s management at 10 Stawna Street were erected before World War I. It was a three-storey corner house built of red bricks with an additional entrance on Szewska Street. In the interwar period, it also housed the Jewish Library, a conference hall, charity organisations’ offices, a religious school, a sports club and apartments for the Community employees. In 1939, Germans confiscated the Community property and destroyed the interior of the building. After the war, the three-storey building was used as warehouses of the State Archives, and the part of the building facing Szewska Street accommodated apartments for the Archives’ employees. Its former headquarters were recovered by the Community in 1999. It houses offices of the Poznań branch of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities, and a chamber of prayer. The building also accommodates the warehouse of the State Archives, the studio of the Struggle for Independence, apartments and law firms.

The Jewish Shelter for Girls

The Jewish Shelter for Girls was opened on 1 October 1904, in the building at Rycerska Street (now, 17 Ratajczaka Street). It was meant to serve unmarried women who were at least 14 years old. The offer was addressed to ladies who wanted to learn a profession. 8 years later, the shelter was moved to a house at 7 Królewska Street (now, Libelta Street).

The Jewish Library

The Jewish Library was located at 16 Żydowska Street in an impressive one-storey building (with high attic) erected after the fire of the Jewish Quarter in 1803. Besides the collection of books, there was a reading room in the library. The Library was used by individual customers and by Jewish associations. The latter included such societies as The Association of the Language Learning (Lishon Limudim Verein) and the Association of the Beloved Brothers (Anschei-Chessed Verein für Liebenden Brüder). The Library collection amounted to nearly 1000 volumes (1907). It propagated knowledge of the Torah, the Talmud and the rabbinical literature. The board of the Library consisted of: Samuel Freund, Jacob Jacobstamm, Salomon Plessner, Eliasz Radzikowski and Martin Wołkowski.

The Jewish Reading Room

In 1920, the Jewish Reading Room was established in a building at 32 Żydowska Street on the initiative of the Jewish People’s Council. The one-storey building was situated a little backwards in comparison to the line of buildings at Żydowska Street. The Reading Room was founded by local Zionists (the Local Zionist Group established in 1904). The purpose of the Reading Room was to enable self-education of the youth. The collection of the Reading Room consisted of 1,600 books promoting Zionist ideas. After 1918, The Peretz Jewish Public Library started to function in the building.

The Seat of the Cosmos Lodge

It was organised on Lipowa Street (currently 9 Nowowiejskiego Street). The building was purchased by the members of the Israeli Cosmos Lodge which included Arthur Kronthal and Adolf Landsberg. First of all, they engaged in the charity activities. After World War I, the lodge was moved to the house at 27 Marcinkowskiego Street. It was an impressive house erected in 1856-1858, designed by an architect, Gustav Schulz. Presently, there is a medical surgery in the building.

The Old Market Square

Jews could settle down at the Market Square from the first half of the 19th century. Until 1914, they had become owners of the majority of houses located at the Market Square. In 1864, at 4 Old Market Square, Józef Jolowicz opened an antique shop. He quickly became a famous book dealer, antiquarian and publisher of 164 catalogues in 4 languages. He was a founder of the Historische Gesellschaft für Provinz  Posen. In 1874, he put the City Archive in order. In 1922, he moved to Berlin. The Red Pharmacy (Rothe Apotheke) was run in the corner house at 37 Old Market Square and at Wielka Street. It was taken over from Jewish entrepreneurs in 1887. The buildings at 38-39 Old Market Square housed Robert Jaretzky’s department store imitating the Berlin Wertheim. Jaretzki bought the buildings from Rudolf Chaim who earlier combined them while opening his store. The buildings were adjusted to accommodate the department store by Martin Sonnabend.

In the house at 45 Old Market Square, Leopold Goldenring ran a wine restaurant and a wholesale of wines. The adjoining houses numbered 46 and 47 were a property of the Danziger Family. The next house (48 Old Market Square) was the venue of trading in furniture under a shop sign Königsberger Gebrüder Möbelfabrik. On the ground floor of the house at 51 Old Market Square a popular restaurant and café Café Tivoli was located. The building was a property of the Misch Family.

The house at 62 Old Market Square was purchased by William Warschauer. He ran a men’s confectionary shop. In 1910, the shop was overtaken by the Salinger & Rosenkranz Company. The houses at 68-69 Old Market Square belonged to the Kantorowicz Family. They were re-purchased from them by a well-known Poznań merchant, Kajetan Ignatowicz.

The liqueur store was located at 71 Old Market Square and also at 72 Old Market Square after the adjoining house had been bought. It was a property of Susanne and Samuel Latz. Julis Asch traded in furs at 80-82 Old Market Square. The buildings were purchased by his father Abraham. In 1909, following their modernisation, the buildings were sold to the Kościelski Family. The owner of the house at 84 Old Marker Square was Isidor Kantorowicz, and then Elias Rosenthal. From 1817, in the adjoining house, Julius Adolf Munk ran a bookstore. Munk was a publisher of the first literary monthly magazine (6 volumes of “Mrówka Poznańska” had been published). In 1902, the house was bought by Samuel Santer.

In the conjoined houses at 87-88 Old Market Square, their proprietor (from 1905), Hermann Loevy, had organised the first department store entirely devoted to commercial purposes. Kaufhaus was designed by Fritz Pfanschmidt. Loevy’s competitor was Rudolf Petersdorff who established his first department store in the house at the corner of Żydowska Street at 100 Old Market Square. In subsequent years, he took over the houses at 99, 98 and 97 Old Market Square, thus expanding his commercial space.

During the war, the majority of those houses had been destroyed or burnt. Their facades are in most cases different from those from before 1939.

Hartwig & Kantorowicz Factory

The house at Południowa Street (now, 6 Grochowe Łąki) was the third location of the vodka and liqueur factory. It was designed by Martin Sonnabend. A three-storey house was standing in front, and the lintel with the company’s emblem has been preserved until today. And parallel to the house, an office and a headquarters of a freight company were established. At the back of the estate, a factory, stable and coach house were built. The factory building was erected in the then modern technique of reinforced concrete framework. On 5 November 1920, Franz Kantorowicz sold his factory and the remaining estates to the Polish Industrial Bank. The production continued in the interwar period and also after the factory had been taken over by the occupation authorities. After the war, the factory was nationalised. It functioned until 1968. Today, the house on the yard of the estate is a seat of the Regional Court in Poznań.

Adolf Landsberg Villa  

The building at 8 Fredro Street housing the villa of a well-known Jewish lawyer, Alfred Landsberg, was designed in 1911 by Hans Uhl. It was designed in a classicist form. Today, it houses Wydawnictwo Poznańskie (Poznań Publishing House).

 

Bibliography:

  1. Bergman E., Jagielski J., Zachowane synagogi i domy modlitwy w Polsce. Katalog, Warszawa 1996.
  2. Kemlein S., Żydzi w Wielkim Księstwie Poznańskim 1815-1848, Poznań 2001.
  3. „Kronika Miasta Poznania”, Poznań 1992, Nos 1-2.
  4. „Kronika Miasta Poznania”, Poznań 2006, No 3.
  5. „Kronika Miasta Poznania”, Poznań 2009, No 1.
  6. Kronthal A., Poznań oczami Prusaka wzorowego. Przyczynki do historii zabytków oraz życia artystycznego i umysłowego Poznania, Poznań 2009.
  7. Sztyma-Knasiecka T., Między tradycją a nowoczesnością. Żydzi poznańscy w XIX i XX wieku, Poznan 2006.
  8. Witkowski R., Żydzi w Poznaniu, Poznań 2012.
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