In the collection of the Archives of Modern Records, in the archival set Collection of personal files of workers’ activists under the reference number 16266, there is documentation on Adolf Adam Goldberg (1865-1933) from Płock. This political activist, coming from an assimilated Jewish merchant family, […]
The Bolsheviks were attacking the town. We heard artillery shots. They could reach us at any moment. The offices of the military commissariat were on the first floor of our house. Several Polish officers and two Jewish brothers named Narwa worked there. The tenants – […]
The first historical mention of the presence of Jews in Płock comes from 1237. It has been preserved in the town location charter issued by Bishop Piotr I, in which it was established that the town borders are from the tombs along the road leading to Czerwińsk, to the well of Wojsława’s church and the second Jewish well and the entire fence that leads to common road next to the Dominican Church. The organized Jewish community in Płock was established in the 16th century. At that time, Jews lived on Żydowska Street, located parallel to the Old Market Square, on its eastern side. In the 17th century, an administratively separated enclave of the Jewish population was established in Płock, including Żydowska, Bielska and Tylna Streets as well as shallow plots of land at the back of the market plots, forming the second front of Żydowska Street. Dating to 1803, a plan of the “Jewish town” in Płock has been preserved, showing the quarter of the city between the streets: Żydowska, Bielska, Jerozolimska and Tylna. According to the plan, the Jewish district included 77 properties.
In 1793, as a result of the second partition of Poland, Płock came under the rule of Prussia. In the years 1793-1809, the Prussian government, striving to expand the urbanized area by tidying up and connecting the suburbs, developed several plans for regulating the town, taking into account the demolition of the medieval defensive walls around the town center, which at that time strongly restricted communication and development of Płock. The line of buildings on Kwiatka Street was marked on the oldest surviving plan of the town of Płock made in 1793 by the construction inspector Göppner. For a considerable length, the newly designed street was parallel to the defensive wall, bending in front of the bishop’s palace and reaching Tumska Street. The design of Kwiatka Street then appears on the plan by the builder Schönwald from 1798 – Kwiatka Street begins here at the Wyszogrodzka Gate, at the end of Tadeusza Kościuszki Street, and runs parallel to the defensive walls, embracing the moat on both sides. The then Prussian authorities approved and largely implemented the project of regulating the town drawn up in 1803 by Schmid – Kwiatka Street was designed here with the creation of a large square between Bielska Street and Reformacki Square.
On November 8, 1811, the Duke of Warsaw, Fryderyk August, issued a decree on the basis of which a Jewish district was created in Płock. Article I of the decree defined the streets where the Jewish people could live. These were: Jerozolimska (from the Old Town Square to the street called Przykop), Synagogalna, Tylna, Przykop (from Bielska to Tumska), Więzienna (from the Reformed Monastery to Tumska), Ostatnia (from the Reformed Monastery to Tumska), Bielska (from Przykop “as far as into the fields”) and Mojżeszowa (from Przykop to Ostatnia).
Of the above-mentioned, the main street of the Jewish district, and also the main street of Płock, connecting the new district with the old town, was Przykop Street. This street was then called Nowa (the name coexisted with the original name), sometimes the term “Nowa nad Przykopem” was used. In the 1830s, the street began to be called Szeroka, which reflected its topographic character. In the mid-nineteenth century, Szeroka Street, which was called the town’s bazaar, was one of the most developed streets in Płock.
In 1935 the street was renamed to Józefa Kwiatka Street to commemorate the socialist activist and journalist who was born in Płock in 1874 and lived with his family in the house number 45. During World War II, its name was changed to Breite Strasse . In 1940 it was part of the ghetto which the Germans liquidated in 1941, when thousands of Płock Jews were transported to extermination camps. On March 23, 1994, during the meeting of the Street Nomenclature Commission, there was a planned proposal to restore Kwiatka Street to the name of Szeroka, which, however, failed.
Before the war, Kwiatka Street was compared to the Nalewki Street in Warsaw. It was a busy communication route, with numerous shops, workshops, service and food points. According to data from 1937, 145 trade establishments and craft workshops of various industries operated here.
Józefa Kwiatka Street was the heart of the Jewish district in Płock. There was a Jewish school (small synagogue) at the street, private houses of prayer, cheders, seats of the Jewish Funeral Association Bieker Chajlim, the Makabi Jewish Gymnastic and Sports Society and the Association of Workers’ Physical Education “Jutrznia”, among others. Jews of Płock were not only the owners of tenement houses on Kwiatka Street, but also dominated among its inhabitants and owners of commercial establishments and craft plants. Registers of the permanent population of the town of Płock record (for the period 1878-1897) over 13,700 people of Jewish origin registered at Szeroka Street. In turn, the census drawn up on the eve of World War II showed 3,378 people living on this street. Among the numerous inhabitants, there were many outstanding people, such as Aron Pinkus Kohnsztam, Artur Ber, Mieczysław Themerson or Józef Kwiatek, who went down in the history of the town.
In the second half of the 20th century, Józefa Kwiatka Street was rebuilt: the underground water and sewage systems, central heating, gas, telecommunications and energy cables were replaced and expanded. From the spring of 1997 to the end of September 1999, a series of stylized residential and commercial tenement houses was built between Kwiatka and Staromiejska Streets. In February 2005, a preliminary comprehensive revitalization plan for the Old Town was developed, in which, apart from the Old Town district from the Middle Ages, with the Old Market Square, Gabriela Narutowicza Square and Plac Trzynastu Straconych (Square of the Executed Thirteen), the Vistula embankment with the hill was included, as well as Tumska and Józefa Kwiatka streets. In the second half of 2006, the facade of the building at 9 Józefa Kwiatka Street was renovated. As part of the revitalization of the Old Town, in September of the same year, the historic frontage at 15-25 Józefa Kwiatka Street, with a corner tenement house called the Rabbi’s House, was renovated and modernized. In the competition of the Polish Association of Construction Engineers and Technicians, Construction of the Year 2006, MTBS company in Płock received a distinction for the revitalization of this facility. The largest investment in the Old Town carried out as part of the revitalization of this region of Płock was the construction of a tenement house complex at the intersection of Sienkiewicza, Bielska and Kwiatka streets, known as Złoty Róg (lit. The Golden Corner), in 2009-2012.
Nowak-Dąbrowska G., Okno na Kwiatka. Ulica Józefa Kwiatka w Płocku od początku XIX wieku do 1939 roku – ludzie i zabudowa, Płock 2019
The Makabi Jewish Gymnastic and Sports Society, which was the most famous and most numerous sports club in Płock, was established in 1915. Its founders were Leon Goldberg, Kurt Kazen, Wilhelm Marienstrass, Juda Pszenica, Maurycy Płońskier, Berek Zeligman and Izrael Penzel. The organization played an […]
A fragment of the panorama of Wyszogród with the synagogue building majestically towering over the town – this is just a preview of a new project carried out by the Nobiscum Foundation. We are officially starting work on a new, bilingual guidebook: “In the footsteps of the Jews of Mazovia”! ✡️
The guidebook will present synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and mikvahs, as well as buildings where Mazovian Jews lived and worked, located in five poviats: Gostynin, Płock, Płońsk, Sierpc and Żuromin, including cities and towns of Płock, Bodzanów, Wyszogród, Bielsk, Raciąż, Sierpc and Bieżuń!
We will reveal more details soon! Make sure to follow the website of the Nobiscum Foundation and JewishPlock.eu ✡️
If you have any materials related to the topic of the guidebook that you would like to share with us, please contact us: info [at] fundacjanobiscum.eu
The oldest mention of the Sadzawka family in Płock dates back to 1810 – on June 22, in the Płock Notarial Office, a purchase contract was concluded for the sale of part of the property located at Synagogalna Street (mortgage number 39) between Józef Markus Pozner and Józef Sadzawka (Józef Mośkowicz at the time). Józef Mośkowicz also purchased the second part of the property under a contract of November 24, 1814 from Anszel Rotman.
Józef Sadzawka (1782-1838) was a trader, and archival sources also record him as one of the Jews from Płock who ran a private house of prayer in the town.
In 1824 Józef Sadzawka purchased a property at Bielska Street, mortgage number 243B. The multi-generational Sadzawka family lived on Bielska Street until the outbreak of World War II.
The first wife of Józef was Sura, with whom he had a son Szaja Zajnwel, his second wife – Bajla née Szymek. Józef Sadzawka was also the father of Wolf, Abraham, Lejbusz, Itta, Dyna and Ryfka.
Szaja Zajnwel, a translator by profession, was married to Gitla (1828-1900), daughter of Kazriel and Bajla Granat. Their eldest son Józef was born in 1856. In the following years, Tyszla Małka (born in 1858), Emanuel (born in 1860) and Moszek Aron (born in 1864) were born as well.
The wife of Emanuel Sadzawka was Małka née Askanas, daughter of Jakub Szulim and Maria Perelgryc, born in 1855 in Płock. Their children were Łaja (born in 1888) and Jakub Szmul (born in 1889). As part of his everyday job, Emanuel Sadzawka sold carbonated drinks in a booth at Konstantynowski Square.
Moszek Aron Sadzawka married Ryfka Wajcman from Wyszogród, daughter of Jochim Wajcman and Estera Sura née Albert. The children of Ryfka and Moszek Aron were: Samuel (born in 1896), Bajla (born in 1897), Dyna (born in 1898), Małka (born in 1899), Szaja (born in 1901), Kasryel (born in 1903) and Gitla (born in 1907). From the beginning of the 1880s, Moszek Aron Sadzawka dealt in the trade of tobacco products in Płock. In the interwar period he ran a furniture sales company.
Since 1860, the owner of the property at Bielska Street was Gitla Sadzawka. She bought the property from Abram Jagoda, who bought it in a public sale, after division of the inherited property by the heirs of Józef and Bajla. After Gitla’s death in 1908, her children became owners: Moszek Aron, Emanuel, Józef and Tyszla Małka. In the same year Moszek took over the parts belonging to his siblings and became the sole owner of the property until his death in 1936. The last owner of the property before the war was Abram Sadzawka.
Before 1882, Józef Sadzawka, son of Szaja Zajnwel and Gitla, emigrated to Belgium. At the age of 26, he married Maria Ungermann (born in 1859) from Dahleram (Germany), daughter of Mathias and Julianne Matheÿ. Józef and Maria had four children: Emil (born in 1882), Julia (born in 1884), Jeanne (born in 1888) and Ernest Leon (born in 1890). The Sadzawka family lived in the north-west district of Brussels – Laeken.
Józef Sadzawka made a stunning career in the tobacco industry in Brussels. Before 1888, he founded the well-known manufacture of cigarettes and Turkish tobacco (Manufacture de Cigarettes & Tabacs Turcs J. Sadzawka), located at rue Linnée 62, then at Avenue de la Reine 286. His successes in this field can be proved by the Grand Prix, which he obtained during the world exhibition in Brussels in 1897. Later, he presented his company and products at the world exhibition in Liege in 1905.
The tobacco industry was then a relatively young industry. The first cigar factories were established in Antwerp and Ghent between 1840 and 1850. Then the industry spread to other cities, and Belgian factories quickly became known throughout the world. Cigarette manufacturing began even later. Józef, who founded the well-known workshop in Brussels in the late 1980s, appeared on the world market quite early (the first cigarette manufacturers in Belgium were foreigners or Belgians who previously had nothing to do with the tobacco industry)
Józef’s son – Ernest Leon Sadzawka was a hero of the First World War. He began his military service on October 12, 1914 as a volunteer and fought in subsequent campaigns until the end of the war. He went down in the history of the Belgian military as an exemplary and brave adjutant, commander of the platoon of the 1st Infantry Regiment of the 5th Infantry Division, which at night from June 30 to July 1, 1918 carried out a heroic assault on an enemy post near Merkem at the Londen intersection (the Yser front) . For special merits on the battlefield, Ernest Leon received 9 decorations, including the Order of the Crown, Order of Leopold, War Cross, Victory Medal, Volunteer-Veteran Medal and a Medal Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Belgium. Although he was seriously wounded twice during te war (August 27, 1916 and July 1, 1918; amputation of the left thumb and deep wound of the left thigh due to a fracture caused by a projectile), it was only in February 1919 that Ernest Leon asked the government to grant leave, for which he was prompted by the difficult material and health situation of his father Józef, who during the war refused to work for the enemy, ceasing operations in his tobacco factory.
Thanks to Ernest Leon, Józef and Maria received Belgian identity cards in 1920, becoming citizens of the country.
Ernest Sadzawka also went down in the history of the oldest sailing club in Belgium. The Belgian press of 1914, in both French and Flemish, has repeatedly reported on Ernest’s participation and successes in the international regattas at Ostend and Liège. In 1925, Ernest became the president of the prestigious Royal Sailing Club in Brussels. He performed this function for 35 years.
On July 13, 1920, Józef Sadzawka sold the company. According to Maria Ungermann’s correspondence to children written at the Vichy Hotel in Nice in early 1925, he died of complications caused by bronchitis. He was buried in the Laeken cemetery. His descendants today live in Belgium, France and Chile.