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KONSKIE (Pol. Końskie ; Rus. Konsk ), town in the province of Kielce, E. central Poland. In 1588 the Jews of Konskie were granted a privilege by King Sigismund iii Vasa allowing them to buy without hindrance food and other goods in all the cities, towns, and villages of the kingdom. In 1635 King Ladislas iv ratified these rights, also granting the Jews permission to build houses in Konskie and to engage in trade. After 1748, when Konskie was granted the status of a town, the number of Jews increased; in 1796 there were 2,534 Jews (62% of the total population). The town developed in the 19th century and 4,450 Jews (54.7% of the total population) lived there in 1897. By 1921 the number had risen to 5,037 (61.2%). In independent Poland after World War i, the Jews in Konskie had an active communal life. The main Jewish parties were represented in the municipality, headed by the *Bund. In an effort to increase its influence on the community administration in 1931, *Agudat Israel used its prerogative to deny right of election to non-religious Jews. With the increasing antisemitism in Poland in the 1930s, attempts were made to oust the Jews from economic life; there were anti-Jewish attacks in 1931, and in 1937 pogroms accompanied by an economic boycott.

[Shimshon Leib Kirshenboim]

Holocaust Period

In 1939, 6,500 Jews lived in Konskie. The German army entered the town on Sept. 6, 1939. In February 1941 about 1,200 Jews from *Plock were expelled to Konskie. The following month a ghetto, consisting of two sections, was established in the town. On Dec. 10, 1941, a decree was issued carrying the death penalty for anyone crossing the ghetto boundary. During the summer of 1942 about 1,500 Jews from the smaller towns nearby were deported to Konskie, and the ghetto population swelled to about 9,000. On November 3–9, 1942, the Germans carried out an Aktion in which almost the entire Jewish population was deported to the *Treblinka death camp via *Szydlowiec. On January 13, 1943, the remaining Jews were also sent to Trebkinka. After the war the Jewish community in Konskie was not rebuilt.

[Stefan Krakowski]


BŻIH, no. 15–16 (1955), 84. add. bibliography: Haynt (Feb. 14, 1918; May 5, 1939); Nasz Przeglad (July 14, 1937; Sept. 3, 1937).