Landsberg an der Warthe (Brandenburg Neumark) - today in Poland
General information: First Jewish presence: probably in the 14th century; peak Jewish population: 450 in 1910; Jewish population in 1933: 435
Summary: Although we do not know when exactly Jews first settled in Landsberg an der Warthe (present-day Gorzow Wielkopolski, Poland), circumstantial evidence suggests the mid-14th century. Records from 1557 mention a prayer hall, but in 1573—or, according to another source, 1510—all Jews were expelled from the town. Jews fleeing the Swedish invasion of Poland found shelter in Landsberg in 1655/60, so that by the end of the 17th century, the foundation of a permanent Jewish community had been established. In 1755, the community built a synagogue at an unknown location; just shy of a century later, in 1854, a new synagogue was inaugurated on Baderstrasse. The community also maintained a mikveh, a Talmud Torah school, a Jewish hospital, a home for the poor and a cemetery. As one of the largest Jewish communities in the Brandenburg region, Landsberg was home to famous Jewish personalities: among these was Victor Klemperer, the renowned writer and literary critic (son of Rabbi Wilhelm Klemperer). By 1933, Landsberg’s 435 Jews had access to branches of several Jewish organizations, the B’nai B’rith society and the Union of Liberal Judaism among them. Anti-Jewish incidents, often violent, were common after 1932; accordingly, local branches of the German Zionist Organization and He‑Halutz (a Zionist youth pioneer movement) were founded in Landsberg in 1934. The synagogue was burned to the ground on Pogrom Night. By 1939, only 95 Jews still lived in Landsberg; by November 1944, that number had plummeted to four. While we do not possess concrete information on the fate of those Jews who lived in Landsberg in 1939, it is likely that they were deported to the East. Except for a few neglected gravestones, there are no extant signs of the town’s glorious Jewish history. Landsberg, presentday Gorzow, is no longer home to a Jewish community.
Author / Sources: Benjamin Rosendahl
Sources: EJL, LJG
Sources: EJL, LJG
Located in: brandenburg