Plebanka, Radziejów County

Radziejów

Radziejów [] is a town in Poland, in Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, about 45 km south of Toruń. It is the capital of Radziejów County. Its population is 5,804 (2004).

History

The earliest known mention of Radziejów is found in a document from 1142 , which states that it was given to the monastery in Mogilno. In the second half of the 13th century it grew into a significant center of local administration. In 1252 its official founding document was issued by the local prince, and in 1292 it obtained its town charter based on Magdeburg Law.

In 1793 the town found itself in Prussia following the Partitions of Poland. In 1807 it passed to the short lived Duchy of Warsaw, and then in 1815 it became a part of the Congress Poland in the Russian Empire. In 1871 it lost its city charter. In 1918 it became a part of reconstituted, independent Poland and was again granted city rights in 1919 . In 1931 it had 4,025 inhabitants.

During World War II, the German army entered the town on September 9, 1939. During the German occupation, the town was part of Reichsgau Wartheland, a portion of Poland directly annexed by Germany.

In the course of the Holocaust, the town's Jewish population was transported to Chelmno extermination camp in April, 1942 where they were killed in gas vans by carbon monoxide exhaust. The town was liberated from the Nazis by the Soviet army on January 20, 1945.

According to survivor testimonies, Radziejów had a history of anti-Semitism that long predated the Holocaust, including harassment of the town's Jews and pogroms.

After the war, survivors who returned to Radziejów found that all Jewish-owned houses had been taken over by Poles. Survivors were afraid to remain because Polish groups were killing Jewish survivors, including a returning Jewish father and son in nearby Osięciny.

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