THE HISTORY OF THE JEWS IN LODZ
Till 1782, the only Jews in Lodz were the local tavern keepers. The
historical-political changes which took place on the turn of the 18th
and 20th century allowed the development from the small, agricultural
town into a strong industrial center and with it an influx of the Jewish
Already in 1808 there was a Jewish community of 58 members, a year later
the first (wooden) synagogue was built in the to-day Wolborska street
and in 1811 the so called Old Cemetery in the Wesola street was
established, which served the Community till 1892.
In spite of the following economic depressions, the number of the
Community members grew steadily. In the 60s of the 19 century Jewish
population counted about 30 000 people. More than 1/3 of manufactures
were in the hands of Jewish industrialists. In these years big
manufactures fortune were established.
In the 80s of the 19 century, following the pogroms in the Moscow
District, a big wave of Russian Jews fled to Lodz. At the end of the
century, the number of Jewish residents of the city came near to 100
000. This growing number of the Jewish population forced the Community
to establish a new cemetery in 1892 in Bracka street.
The first 30 years of the 20th century brought a rise in the Jewish
activities in the culture and on the social field. The literary-music
company "Hazomir" was operating and included chorus, drama circle and a
library. The symphonic orchestra was established. There were active some
On the eve of IIWW the Jewish population in Lodz numbered 233 000 people,
which was near of 35% of all residents of Lodz.
The history of that world was cut short by the Holocaust. The German
occupants destroyed the Lodzer synagogues and closed the Jewish
population in Ghetto - a large forced labor camp. A part of the
destruction came after the war. Among others the cemetery in the Wesola
Street ceased to exist only in the 50s. A street was built on part of
the cemetery, on Jewish graves apartment houses rose. Today only old
maps of the city and dilapidated fragments of the 19th century cemetery
wall are witness to the original character of this place.
The heritage of the Lodzer Jews continues to dilapidate and often
succumbs to devastation. The Foundation Momentum Iudaicum Lodzense
through her activities tries to save every even so small piece of this