The empty square marked with mortgage number 256 at the former Szeroka Street belonged to the police director Wilhelm Czarnowski at the beginning of the 19th century. After his death, the property was inherited by his juvenile sons – Juliusz and Henryk Czarnowski. As a […]
This Monday, 27 January 2020, marks the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Answering the annual appeal of the Shalom Foundation, let us join the “Light of Remembrance” action that day. Let’s light candles in our windows in Płock at 6 p.m. as a sign of commemoration […]
The tenement house at 26 Sienkiewicza Street in Płock, in which the Private Upper Secondary Art School is currently located, belonged to the Altberg family before the war. Here, on March 15, 1938, Paulina Altberg, née Golde, daughter of Benjamin and Liba Rechla née Goldsztejn, who was a well-known charity activist, died. Paulina’s daughter – Emma, was an outstanding pianist, harpsichordist, music educator and publicist.
Emma Altberg was born on January 14, 1889. She was an outstanding pianist, harpsichordist, music teacher and publicist. She studied social sciences and philosophy in Switzerland, from 1909 she studied piano at the Schola Cantorum in Paris. After graduating in 1913, she continued her education at one-year master course for extremely talented graduates. During the interwar period, she lived in Warsaw, where she conducted her pedagogical and journalistic activities. She gave private lessons and led music courses organized by the Workers Association of Children’s Friends. She was a co-founder of the Association of Early Music Lovers and the editor of “Ekspress Poranny” (“Morning Express”). After the outbreak of World War II, she left for Vilnius, where she took the position of a teacher at the Mieczysław Karłowicz Conservatory. After the Germans entered the city, she was forced to escape. She spent the occupation period with her sister, hiding in Rohaczów region. In the last year of the war, she returned to Vilnius. After the liberation of the city, she worked at the Vilnius State Conservatory as the head of the special piano class. She then moved to Łódź, where from September 1945 she taught piano and music programs at the People’s Music Institute. A year later she was employed at the State High School of Music, and in 1948 she took up the post of professor of piano at the State Music University. In 1956 she was awarded the title of associate professor. She was a lively journalistic and scientific activist. Her articles were printed in “Poradnik Muzyczny” (“Music Guide”), “Ruch Muzyczny” (“Music Movement”) and the quarterly “Muzyka” (“Music”), among others. She developed many valuable textbooks for learning music, including “Czytanki muzyczne” (“Musical readings”), which are used even today as material of the obligatory curriculum. She published a book entitled “Polscy pianiści” (“Polish pianists”). She was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.
You can read more about Emma Altberg in the article by Małgorzata Łyczakowska (in Polish only): http://www.amuz.lodz.pl/dmdocuments/notes-muzyczny-2016-2/157-180–notes-muzyczny-2-6-2016.pdf
About the Iwanowski family, who helped Emma Altberg hide during the war: https://sprawiedliwi.org.pl/en/stories-of-rescue/story-iwanowski-family
In 1857, Chaim Rafał Kempner (1817-1870) opened a large bookshop in Płock, where a reading room and a library also operated. The bookstore, which was located at Grodzka Street, recommended all the book novelties, in all branches of science, as well as romance, novels of […]
The history of the Flatau family in Płock dates back to the times of the Duchy of Warsaw, when Joachim (Nochem) Judas, a merchant from the Grand Duchy of Poznań, came to Płock from the town of Gołancz. In the Jewish civil registry documents of the town of Płock from 1814, on March 28, a marriage certificate was recorded of Joachim Judasz (born in the 18th century, died in 1865), who shortly after took the surname ‘Flatau,’ with Prywa nee Klejn, a native resident of Płock. After the death of Prywa (1826), Joachim Flatau got married to Berta (Brana) nee Nyrenberg, a resident of Dobrzyń nad Wisłą. They had seven children who, after reaching adulthood, left Płock and went to Toruń, then to Berlin (Dorota Kaliszer nee Flatau), Mława (Anna Kuroszkin nee Flatau), Vienna (Julian), London (Józef), Warsaw, later Radom (Maria Ciemierzyńska), Kalisz (Ludwik). Justyna Bogusławska nee Flatau stayed in Płock. In the early 1960s, Ludwik returned to Płock (born in 1831, died in 1895) with his wife Anna (Chinda) nee Heyman, a resident of Kalisz. The young couple lived in the property no. 321 at Kolegialna Street, purchased by Ludwik’s parents in 1834 and inseparably connected with the history of the Flatau family. This property had been the subject of a family conflict for several years, after the death of Joachim in 1865. By judgement of the Civil Court in Płock in 1868, property no. 321 was divided and auctioned. Berta Flatau was the first to buy it (through an intermediary) and later Ludwik, who had previously renounced his father’s estate, bought it from her for the same price, keeping the property for his family. Ludwik continued family traditions. In 1868 he was included in the 1st guild of merchants. Within a few years, as a grain merchant and banker, he became one of the wealthiest citizens of Płock. His enterprise named “Dom Handlowo-Bankowy Ludwik Flatau” [“Ludwik Flatau’s Trade and Banking Company”] was known not only in the Płock Governorate, but throughout the Polish Kingdom, the Russian Empire, the Prussian Kingdom, etc. Ludwik Flatau had a very good opinion as an entrepreneur in Toruń. The authorities of this city, important from the perspective of trade, agreed in 1873 that Ludwik Flatau together with his sons could obtain the transfer papers and passport of the Prussian Kingdom, crucial for him and his family. He lived in Płock on the basis of a passport and ran his business here. In 1875, the Flatau couple were the parents of four sons:
– Roman (Szlama) born on April 30, 1876, died in 1933 at Taverny in France;
– Edward (Nuchem Ermołaj), born on December 30, 1868, died June 7, 1932 in Warsaw; [Edward’s biogram can be found here: https://jewishplock.eu/en/edward-flatau-en/ ]
– Julian (Juda), born on May 20, 1870, died May 23, 1935 in Poznań;
– Henryk (Chaim), born on May 20, 1870, he died near Rabka in 1943.
as well as daughter Helena (Chaja) Kruszewska nee Flatau, born on October 24, 1875, d. in 1951.
Parents showed great concern with the education of their children, especially sons, who after graduating from the Junior High School in Płock (Roman and Edward with medals, Julian and Henry probably also, but the school documents from those years were not preserved) went to study abroad (Edward graduated with honors from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Moscow, Julian from the Faculty of Chemistry, there as well). Edward and Julian also received doctoral degrees in Moscow. In 1893 Edward went to Berlin and there, with other scholars, he conducted research in the field of neurology. The result was the discovery (at the beginning of 1897) of the law of the eccentric arrangement of long fibers in the spinal cord, which he presented at the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin. During this time, he also developed the Atlas of the Human Brain, and in 1912 published a book entitled Migraine. The Flatau children were constantly travelling (Warsaw, Berlin, Zurich, Moscow, Płock). They were returning to their family home less and less often (Helena and Edward settled in Warsaw, Edward was removed from the books of Płock residents in December 1908). Roman settled in Odessa for several years, Julian circled between Moscow and Odessa, where he married Fanny Landau. Only Henryk, an engineer, stayed in Płock and was the representative of the family company under the name of “Ludwik Flatau” and a member of the Management Committee of the Flatau Jewish Home for the Elderly and Disabled, which Anna founded after the death of her husband (in 1890) [you can read more about the initiative here: https://jewishplock.eu/en/13a-zdunska-street/ ]. Henryk Flatau was the last to leave Płock in 1907. He sold the family property (currently the Wedding Palace of Płock) at Kolegialna Street to a friend of the family (who later became his father-in-law), Jakub Neumark.
Written by Krystyna Grochowska-Iwańska on the basis of an article submitted to the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, the printed chapters in the book: Edward Flatau i jego kometa by Piotr J. Flatau, source information comes from the State Archives in Płock supplemented with documents shared with the author by Piotr Flatau.
Estera Golde-Stróżecka – freethinker, activist for women’s rights, journalist, political and cultural-educational activist, doctor, was born on August 1, 1872 in Płock, as the daughter of Beniamin and Liba Ruchla nee Goldsztejn. Her father was a well-known merchant, industrialist and philanthrope. After graduating from the Provincial Junior High School in 1888, she left for Geneva and Paris, where she studied natural sciences and medicine. During this period she was associated with the Polish Socialist Party (PPS). She was a co-founder of the Paris section of the Foreign Union of Polish Socialists, she cooperated with “Przedświt”, “Robotnik” and “Gazeta Robotnicza” magazines. In the summer of 1896 she completed medical studies with a pediatric specialty. She returned to her hometown, where she practiced for a short time at the Isaak Fogel Hospital at Misjonarska Street. She then left for Warsaw, where she took a job in a pediatric hospital at Śliska Street. At the same time, she managed the Warsaw organization of the PPS. She was arrested and imprisoned many times for her activities. In 1906, she married Jan Stróżecki (1869-1918) – a socialist and independence activist. After the wedding, she settled in Paris. She operated in the Paris section of the PPS-Lewica, belonged to the Adam Mickiewicz People’s University, organized help for Polish political prisoners in Russia as part of the Red Cross Society. At the same time, she ran a pediatric and gynecological practice. After Poland regained independence, she did not cease her social and political activities, which became even more radical. In the last years of her life she was the editor of “Dziennik Ludowy”. In her articles, she defended the rights of children and youth, the elderly, matters of the Polish language and education, and Polish heritage in exile. She struggled with a heart disease. She died on September 2, 1938.
Grochowska-Iwańska K., Płocczanki na drogach do Niepodległej [in:] Tak rodziła się Niepodległość. W 100-lecie powstania wolnej Polski, red. Z. P. Kruszewski, Z. J. Zasada, Płock–Włocławek 2018
Kancewicz J., Estera i Jan Stróżeccy. Zarys życia i działalności społeczno-politycznej, „Notatki Płockie” 1978, no. 3 (96)
Przedpełski J., Stefański J., Żydzi płoccy w dziejach miasta, Płock 2012
Mining of the records revealed that the Bomzon (Baumzon; Bomsohn) family resided in Płock from the beginning of the 19th century. My great grandfather, Izrael Abram Bomzon (1861-1913), son of Dawid Szlama (1826-1904) and Ruchla Łaja nee Liberman (1830-?), who was a professional gingerbread baker, […]