History Of Nowy Dwor
Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki
A town in Warszawa Province, Central Poland.
The Jewish settlement appears to have been founded at ther close of the 17th century. From the beginning of the 18th century there was an organized Jewish community owning a synagogue and a cemetery (wish until 1780 was also used by the Jews of Praga, a suburb of Warsaw.) In 1768-1769, a number of Jews fleeing from the Haidamack massacres in Podolia found refuge in Nowy Dwor, bringing the Chasidic teaching with them. During that periond the Jews earned their livelihood primarily from innkeeping and by trading in wood. A woolen cloth factory established in the 1780’s by the Poniatowski family (owners of the town) was to a considerable extent dependent on Jewish merchants for its financing, for supplying its raw materials, and for taking on the bulk of its orders. Jewish craftsmen and merchants earned their livelihood from tailoring, shoemaking, carpentry, construction, innkeeping, and the supply of building materials and food to the military units stationed in the district. In 1808, 183 Jews formed 25% of the town’s population; in 1827 there were 334 Jews (28% of the town’s population), increasing to 1,305 (49%) in 1857. A German editor, J. A. Krieger, had taken over a Hebrew printing privilege from the Warsaw printer and bookseller Du Four, so that between 1781 and 1816 Nowy Dwor had one of the most active Hebrew presses in Eastern Europe, issuing well over 100 works. The driving powers behind the business were Eliezer B. Isaac of Krotoszyn and his son-in-law, Jonathan B. Moses Jacob of Wielowicz, who had also acted as proofreader and later as manager of Krieger’s bookshop in Warsaw. An ambitious project of a Talmud edition did not proceed beyond the publication of the first two volumes in 1784, and subsequently the Napoleonic wars put an end to Krieger’s Enterprise.
During the middle of the 19th century Jews of Lithuanian origin, who were principally employed as purveyors to the Russian authorities, settled in the town. As a result of their powerful economic status they rapidly gained control of most of the community’s institutions. During the last third of the 19th century the rabbinical office was held by Jacob Moses Teomim and until 1904 by R. Menahem Mendel Chayyim Landau, a leader of Agudat Israel, later a Rabbi in Detroit, U.S.A. Landau was succeeded by Moses Aaron Taub, and between the two world wars Judah Reuben Neufeld served as the last Rabbi of the town.
Industrialization, the departure of Jews from regions suffering pogroms, and the expulsion of Jews from Moscow, caused a rapid increase in the Jewish population of Nowy Dwor. In 1897 there were 4,735 Jews (65%) in the town. In 1905-1906 Jewish trade unions gained in strength under the influence of the Bund and the Po’alei Zion. In addition to retail trade, the Jews of Nowy Dwor engaged in shoemaking, millinery, carpentry, locksmithing, tailoring, and portage; about 300 Jewish women were employed in embroidery workshops. A general conflagration in 1907, in which more than half the town’s houses were destroyed, led many Jews to move to Warsaw or to emigrate to the United States. In 1920, during the war in Soviet Russia, the Polish army expelled hundreds of Jews from the town and desecrated its synagogue. In 1921 there were 3,916 Jews (50% of the population) in NOwy Dwor and 3,961 (42%) in 1931. In the municipal elections of 1927, four Jewish delegates won seats in the town’s administration and the delegate of the Bund was appointed vice-mayor. For a number of years the CYSHO (Central Yiddish School Organization) and Tarbut schools as well as the Shalom Aleichem library were subsidized by municipal funds. In the early 1930’s Jewish haulage workers organized a self-defense movement against anti-semitic rioters. At the outbreak of World War II there were about 4,000 Jews in Nowy Dwor.
The Holocaust Period
The German army entered the town on September 20, 1939. A ghetto was established at the beginning of 1941. In May 1941, 3,250 Jews were deported to Pomiechowek camp where most of them perished. In November 1942 two deportations to Auschwitz took place. The ghetto was liquidated on December 12, 1942, when 2,000 Jews from Nowy Dwor and nearby Czerwinsk were sent to Auschwitz. After the war the Jewish community of Nowy Dwor was not reconstituted.