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Strykow

STRYKOW

STRYKOW (Pol. Stryków ), town in the province of Lodz, central Poland. An organized Jewish community existed there from the early 18th century under the jurisdiction of the *Leczyca community. In 1765 there were 488 Jewish poll-tax payers in Strykow, and 137 (including nine persons in *Zgierz) in 21 surrounding villages. The Jews then owned 41 houses, including a synagogue and a hostel for the poor. In 1789 a Jewish merchant established a tannery. The Jewish population numbered 868 (70% of the total) in 1808, 1,394 (62%) in 1827, and 1,713 (65%) in 1857. They engaged in trade, and particularly in crafts, benefiting from the development of the town until the middle of the 19th century, when it declined as a result of the development of the industrial towns of *Lodz and Zgierz. In 1897 the community numbered 1,799 (58%). They were mainly engaged in tailoring, shoemaking, small trade, and transportation. During the 19th century Strykow became a center of Ḥasidism. At the beginning of the century the kabbalist Ephraim b. Isaac Fishel (d. 1825) lived in the town. The ẓaddikim Elimelech Menahem Mendel Landau (d. 1877) and Ze'ev Wolf Landau (d. 1891) had their "courts" in Strykow. In 1921 there were 1,998 Jews living in the town (48%). Between the two world wars there was a Jewish elementary school and a library.

[Shimshon Leib Kirshenboim]

Holocaust Period

On the outbreak of World War ii, Strykow underwent heavy bombardment. Many of the nearly 2,000 Jews there fled to the outlying villages and some became the first victims of the advancing German troops. In December 1939 nearly 1,600 Jews were deported to Glowno, situated in the General Government territory. The deportees were turned away by the mayor of Glowno and obliged to look for shelter on the periphery of the town. They stayed until the spring of 1940, when the Glowno authorities drove them back to Strykow. The mayor of Strykow refused them entry and the deportees had to return once more to Glowno, where they probably remained and shared the fate of the Jews there.

After the first deportation of Jews in December 1939, only 378 Jews remained behind in Strykow. In time a number of refugees also arrived. In the years 1940–42 the Jews in Strykow were concentrated within a tiny ghetto. In April or May 1942 all the Jews were deported to Brzeziny (Loewenstadt) – the only other Jewish settlement still existing, besides Lodz, in the whole province. In the course of the liquidation of the Brzeziny ghetto and soon afterward, the 300 Jewish laborers from Strykow were sent with 3,000 "selected" Jews from Brzeziny to the Lodz ghetto.

[Danuta Dombrowska]

bibliography:

Halpern, Pinkas, index; R. Mahler, Yidn in Amolikn Poyln in Likht fun Tsifern (1958), index; B. Wasiutyński, Ludność żydowska w Polsce w wiekach xix i xx (1930), 28; E. Ringelblum, in: Miesiçcznik żydowski, no. 11–12 (1933), 233; D. Dąbrowska, in: bŻih. 13–14 (1955), 122–84, passim.

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