Cecylia (Celina) Kempner was born in Płock on November 13, 1880, as the daughter of the bookseller Ludwik and Tauba nee Kon. She was an activist of the Polish Socialist Party. As Kazimierz Askanas recalls, Celina Kempner, a graduate of the Women’s Gymnasium (Middle High […]
Tag: Jews of Płock
Efroim Isser aka Izydor Wasserman (1848-1921) – son of Szlama and Dobra nee Wróbel, married to Blima vel Balbina née Goldberik, Płock-based bookseller, printer and social activist. In the years 1872-1887 he ran a bookshop in Rubin Sigelberg’s house on Grodzka Street. In 1876, he […]
The property located in Płock at 48 Sienkiewicza Street (formerly Więzienna Street), on its northern side, is part of the former building complex of the Sarna Agricultural Machines Factory. The enterprise was located on squares marked with old mortgage numbers 237, 192, 193 letter B and 183. Moszek Szlama Sarna was the owner of them under the acts of July 23, 1878, November 10, 1882, September 19, 1883 and March 5, 1900.
Moszek Szlama Sarna (1838–1908) – a Płock-based industrialist, was the son of Isser Szaja, a sheet metal master, and Chana née Purzyczka. His wife was Fajga nee Ejzenberg (born 1838), with whom he had four children: three sons – Izydor (born 1876), Saul (born 1880), Szymon (born 1881) and a daughter Adela (born 1883). Sarna was interested in agriculture and its mechanization from an early age. He made many trips around Europe, and after returning to Płock, he invested all his capital, amounting to 100 rubles, in agricultural machinery (threshing machines) from Gdańsk. Then he started to import plows, threshers and seeders from Poznań, which he then sold to local farmers. In the 1860s, he set up a small repair workshop where he repaired agricultural machinery imported from abroad and from the Cegielski Factory in Poznań. As early as in 1864, at the industrial and agricultural exhibition in Warsaw, he received a medal for precise production of agricultural machinery for practical use for exhibited agricultural tools. The enterprise gradually expanded, and in 1870 its workshops were transformed into the Agricultural Machines and Tools Factory in Płock. According to a press advertisement published in the “Płock Calendar” for 1876, Sarna’s company had a large selection of the most practical agricultural machines and tools, among which the original Września plows, harrows, scratchers, dredgers, extirpators, Coleman cultivators, Robilard Bennajd and Drewitz seeders, patented potato digging tools, reapers and reapers-mowers, manages and threshers, choppers, pumps, water jets, peat mowers, carts and carriages. In 1870, 23 people worked at Sarna’s factory, in 1885 – 50, in 1899 – 65, and in 1914 – 77.
In February 1881, Moszek Szlama Sarna asked the town council of Płock for permission to build a foundry and metallurgical plant on its square between Więzienna and Królewiecka Streets. It was the first iron foundry in the town, in which employed molders made castings for the production of agricultural machinery. In the pages of “Korespondent Płocki”, Sarna placed an advertisement for his iron foundry, operating at a factory of agricultural machinery, according to which it started working on July 1, 1881. The foundry was equipped with one bell-foundry with two drains. Raw material for Sarna castings was imported from England and Scotland. Sarna offered a large selection of practical agricultural machinery and tools at affordable prices, all kinds of iron, hard coal, cement, wax, tar paper, stone tar, agricultural seeds, grain bags, decimal scales and all iron accessories. The assortment also included fodder seeds.
In 1883, Moszek Szlama Sarna built a forge and a locksmith’s workshop on his property. In 1884, a design was drawn up (unfortunately not preserved) for the erection of a front, one-story residential house with an iron-sheet roof at Więzienna Street. Its author was the architect Konrad Bałaziński (1850–1885). At the same time, a one-story outbuilding was erected in the yard of the property for the office of the agricultural tools factory. In 1885 Sarna moved the iron trade to the building at Więzienna Street – fragments of the advertisements with the inscription “iron store” are still visible on the facade of the tenement house.
In the same year, Moszek Szlama Sarna presented agricultural machinery produced by his company during the agricultural and industrial exhibition in Warsaw. Sarna’s exhibition was awarded a bronze medal, the drawing of which appears in the factory’s advertisements in the local press. Sarna received another bronze medal in 1899 at the exhibition in Płock, for continuously striving to improve his products, introducing self-lubricating device bushings in threshers and presenting a collection of his own product casts at the exhibition.
In the autumn of 1888, Moszek Szlama Sarna asked the town council of Płock for permission to erect a brick, one-story outbuilding on his property. In 1889, he asked for permission to build a brick two-story outbuilding with a one-story extension. In 1893, a two-story building was erected on the property, intended for warehouses for metallurgical and foundry materials. In 1900, Moszek Szlama Sarna erected an extension to a part of a two-story brick front residential house and a new brick one-story building housing a locksmith’s and carpentry workshop, as well as a warehouse for agricultural tools and machines. At the beginning of the 20th century, the property of Moszek Szlama Sarna was electrified and water and sewage systems were installed. In 1905, new brick two-story warehouses and brick two-story workshops with roofing felt were erected on the property. Before August 1907, a new brick building with a metalwork and carpentry shop with a roof covered with tar paper was erected in Sarna’s property, and the following were rebuilt: a brick building with a steam boiler and a steam engine, with a roof covered with tar paper, a brick building with a workshop, with a roof covered with tar paper, with a wooden annex covered with boards and a brick outbuilding with living quarters and iron storage, with a tiled roof. In 1909, the front tenement house at Więzienna Street was extended by one floor. The stairs in the front house and in the part of the outbuilding adjacent to the front house were also rebuilt.
Moszek Szlama Sarna died on October 18, 1908. He was buried at the local Jewish cemetery. The Płock press then wrote: “The deceased deserved good recognition for his activity aimed at the development of the domestic industry. His products won awards and recognition at national agricultural exhibitions. Good relations between the deceased and his colleagues should be emphasized”.
After the death of Moszek Szlama Sarna, the property was inherited by his children: Izydor Sarna, Saul (Stanisław) Sarna and Adela Gufnagel (under the protocol of closing the inheritance proceedings of April 5, 1910). Adela Gufnagel gave her rights to the inheritance to her brothers for the sum of 7,900 rubles. Then, Izydor Sarna purchased from his brother Saul his indivisible part of the property for the amount of 50,000 rubles and, under the act of October 28, 1911, he was registered as its owner.
In 1911, Sarna’s factory took part in the agricultural exhibition in Mława, and at the same time opened its branch there with a permanent exhibition of its products. On this occasion, the monthly magazine “Świat” recalled the development path of the factory, pointing out that from a small workshop for repairing agricultural tools in 1870, it turned into a large industrial plant, employing 120 people. Before the outbreak of World War I, the company led by Izydor Sarna stood at the peak of technical and commercial development, playing a significant role in domestic production. Sarna took an active part in organizing agricultural exhibitions and shows, cooperating with various agricultural organizations.
Izydor Sarna was a graduate of the Higher Engineering School in Mittweide. After graduation, he was an intern at the Mac Cornick factory in the United States. He developed a technology for the production of new agricultural machinery. He was an outstanding constructor who contributed to the development and modernization of the company inherited from his father. Agricultural machinery from his factory was exported, among others. to Germany and Russia. Izydor Sarna was also a well-known philanthropist in Płock. He was, among others member of the Association of Mutual Assistance of Jewish Trade Workers. In 1914, he co-founded the Committee for Aid to Jews in Płock, was a member of the Civic Committee of the town of Płock, and from 1915 he was a member of the Council of the Jewish Community. In 1917 he was elected a member of the Płock Town Council. He was also active in the Credit Society in Płock, he financially supported the Sunday Trade School.
In 1927, the Sarna Agricultural Machines and Tools Factory, located in the town center between Sienkiewicza, Królewiecka and Bielska Streets, had three steam and electric engines with the power of 65 HP and 70 auxiliary machines. In total, it employed 105 people, and the number of machines produced in 1926 was 2000. The factory was involved in the production of simple machines and devices, such as cultivators, common harrows, whiteners, horse rakes, seeders, threshers, as well as grain cleaners and mills.
In 1929, the Sarna Agricultural Machines and Tools Factory took part in the General National Exhibition in Poznań, during which it presented threshers, cleaners, chaff-cutters, treadmills and agricultural tools.
According to the 1931 census, the factory owner, his wife Eda (born 1890) and daughter Anna Felicja Róża (born 1930) and their closest associates lived in the front tenement house at 48 Sienkiewicza Street (police number 28 at that time). Eda Sarna, wife of Izydor, was a well-known activist from Płock, actively involved in the work of the Society for the Care of Jewish Children in Płock.
In the first weeks of Nazi occupation, the Sarna factory continued to work. The Germans allowed Izydor Sarna to continue his work as a specialist. At the end of 1939, he left Płock with his family. The Sarna factory, along with two others operating in the interwar period in Płock – owned by Maurycy Margulies and Paweł Urbański, at the end of 1939 became part of one enterprise under the name of Maschinen Industrie.
After the end of World War II, by the decision of the Government Plenipotentiary for Economic Affairs No. 18/09/27 of February 19, 1945, the property at 48 Sienkiewicza Street was incorporated into the Płock Industrial Plant. The factory was subordinated to the Union of the Metal and Electronic Industry for the Łódź District in Łódź. Pursuant to the decision of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of September 15, 1948, it received the name “Harvesting Machine Factory – Separated State Enterprise in Płock”.
In the factory’s property at 48 Sienkiewicza Street, flats were allocated to employees of Płock Industrial Plant. In 1976, the buildings of the foundry of the Sarna Agricultural Machines Factory were entered in the register of monuments. The tenement house at 48 Sienkiewicza Street, belonging to the town, was handed over to the Municipal Social Housing Society (MTBS) a few years ago.
Dzieje Płocka, vol. 2, red. M. Krajewski, Płock 2006
Grzymałowski S., Chorzewski K., Produkcja maszyn i narzȩdzi rolniczych w Polsce w latach 1805-1918, Wrocław 1970
Jewsiewicki B., Koliński J., Przemysł miasta Płocka i powiatu płockiego w świetle rosyjskich statystyk urzędowych końca XIX wieku, „Notatki Płockie” 1968, no. 14
Kalendarz Płocki na rok przestępny 1876, Warszawa 1875
Lista członków Towarzystwa Rolniczego w Królestwie Polskiem w roku 1861, published by Towarzystwo Rolnicze w Królestwie Polskim, [unknown place of publication] 1861
Nowak G. Wojciechowska A., Żydowski Płock – architektoniczne wizje i realizacje, Płock 2014
Nowowiejski A.J., Płock. Monografia historyczna, Płock 1931
Papierowski A.J., Organizacje i instytucje społeczne i polityczne w Płocku w latach 1905-1914, Płock 2010
Powszechna Wystawa Krajowa w Poznaniu maj – wrzesień 1929. 2, Katalog rolniczy Cz.1 Ogólny, Poznań 1929
J. Przedpełski, Żydzi płoccy. Dzieje i martyrologia 1939-1945, Płock 1993
Przedpełski J., Stefański J., Żydzi płoccy w dziejach miasta, Płock 2012
Sprawozdanie Zarządu Stowarzyszenia Wzajemnej Pomocy Subiektów Handlowych Wyznania Mojżeszowego w Warszawie za 1902 rok. Ogólne zebranie członków dnia 10 (23) maja 1903 roku: rok 47 istnienia, Warszawa 1903
Stefański J., Dzieje Fabryki Maszyn Żniwnych im. Marcelego Nowotki w Płocku 1870-1977, Warszawa 1986
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