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RYPIN , town in Budgoszcz province, N. central Poland; from 1815 until World War i within Russia. In 1799 the Jews of Rypin were granted civic rights and freedoms by the municipal council, which sought to improve the economic situation of the town with their assistance. Henceforward the Jewish population increased, numbering 517 (35% of the total population) in 1827; 1,024 (47.8%) in 1856; 1,706 (38.6%) in 1897; and 2,791 (38.6%) in 1921. The Jews developed commerce and crafts in the town. After World War i, 300 Jewish families (about 60% of the total Jewish population) were engaged in commerce, and 25% in the crafts. In the 1930s their economic situation was undermined, however, as a result of a campaign launched by antisemites.

The community was organized on democratic principles after World War i. In the first elections to the council held in 1924, as well as in those of 1931 and 1936, the Zionists obtained a majority, although the Ḥasidim had considerable influence within the Jewish population. Noteworthy of the community's rabbis were Nahum Manasseh Guttentag-Tavyomi, who appears to have participated in the Polish uprising of 1863, and Asher Gershon Luria, rabbi of the town for 40 years (d. 1932). There was a network of Jewish schools and cultural institutions of various kinds. Modern social and cultural activity began under the German occupation of World War i.

[Shimshon Leib Kirshenboim]

Holocaust Period

During the Nazi occupation, Rypin was part of Reichsgau Danzig-Westpreussen by Hitler's decree of Oct. 26, 1939. Before the outbreak of World War ii, Rypin had nearly 2,500 Jews. Before the Germans entered on September 8, many Jews escaped, but trickled back afterward. Some 100–150 refugees who returned were probably shot on the outskirts of town. In September and October 1939, several Jews were arrested and some leading persons were murdered. The Germans set the main synagogue and bet midrash on fire. The Germans arrested the president of the community, Shimeon Kron (or Kran), for starting the fire, and the community was obliged to pay a high "contribution" (or fine). A large number of Jews, especially youth, escaped to the Soviet-occupied territories. The remaining Jews, ordered by the German authorities to leave the town in the middle of November 1939, became dispersed in various towns – *Mlawa, *Ciechanow, *Plonsk, Szrensk, and others. Some went to Warsaw. After this exodus, the Germans destroyed the two Jewish cemeteries. About 280 Jews from Rypin survived the Holocaust, including 180 who eventually returned from the Soviet Union, and 65 who survived in labor and concentration camps. The remainder had "Aryan" documents or were hidden by Christians. A number of the survivors returned to Rypin in 1945–46 but remained only a short time. Most of them emigrated.

[Danuta Dombrowska]


Sefer Rypin (Heb., Yid., Eng., 1962), a memorial book; S. Huberband, Kiddush ha-Shem (1969), 294.