Guide to the Records of the Krotoszyn Jewish Community Council
1828-1919

RG 14

Processed by Steven M. Lowenstein in the 1970s. Edited by Rivka Schiller in 2006. Additional processing and revision of finding aid by Violet Lutz, 2016.

YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, NY 10011

Phone: (212) 246-6080

Fax: (212) 292-1892

Email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

URL: http://www.yivoinstitute.org

©2017 YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was converted to EAD version 2002 by Yakov Sklyar in December 2006; the current version was encoded by Violet Lutz in November 2016. Description is in English.
January 2018 dao links added by Leanora Lange.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Krotoszyn Jewish Community Council
Title: Records of the Krotoszyn Jewish Community Council
Dates:1828-1919
Abstract: The collection comprises a portion of the records of the Jewish community of Krotoszyn, today in west-central Poland, in the Greater Poland Voivodeship. The region was annexed by Prussia in 1793, in the Second Partition of Poland; in German the town name was spelled "Krotoschin." The records span the years 1828 to 1919. During this period the town was part of the Posen (Poznań) region of Prussia and, after 1871, of the German Empire; in 1919, it was incorporated into the Second Republic of Poland. The community numbered over 2,000 members in the mid 19th century and declined steadily thereafter due to migration of members to larger German cities or overseas; only a small Jewish community remained during the interwar period. The records are mostly those of the Jewish communal administration, or council, of Krotoschin, with a small amount of material comprising records kept by local voluntary associations, or, in one instance, the teacher of the Jewish elementary school. The collection consists predominantly of correspondence and minutes, with inclusion in some periods of documents such as tax lists, lists of eligible voters, insurance policies, mortgage records, debt repayment plan, and drawings/plans of property. Highlights include records related to property damage in a town fire of 1827, income and expenses for the year 1835, and communal elections, 1834-1872; correspondence concerning marriages, 1838-1841, and requests for death certificates, 1834-1858; applications for the position of rabbi, 1895, and cantor/shochet, 1904-1910; and continuous proceedings of the communal council in the period 1905 to 1913.
Languages: Predominantly in German, with some Hebrew and Yiddish.
Quantity: 3.6 linear feet (9 boxes).
Record Group Number: RG 14
Repository: YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
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Historical Note

Krotoszyn (German: Krotoschin) is a town in west-central Poland, today in the Greater Poland Voivodeship. It lies some 30 km. west of Ostrów Wielkopolski, and 140 km. west of Łódź. The Jewish community in Krotoszyn dates from at least the 1420s, based on evidence that the community owed a debt to the Catholic Church of Czylez in 1423. The Polish king had granted town privileges to the locality in 1415. Documentation of the Jewish community's original charter (Privileg), dates from 1638, when the owners of the town reissued it; the charter was also ratified and extended in 1648 and in 1673.

In 1656, during the Polish-Swedish wars, the Jewish community was decimated by the Polish troops of Stefan Czarniecki. Of the 400 Jewish families then residing in the town, only 50 families survived. The community later revived, and played an important role in the Polish-Jewish governing body known as the Council of the Four Lands (circa 1580-1764).

The community had its own cemetery since at least the 17th century and perhaps earlier. Until the early 18th century, the Jewish cemetery in Krotoszyn served nearby localities including Leszno, Kobylin, Kępno, Zduny, Ostrów Wielkopolski, and, especially, Wrocław (Breslau), until 1761, when the Breslau community established a new cemetery.

During the 18th century, wealthy Jews of Krotoszyn carried on trade with the German lands, and attended the fairs in Breslau, Leipzig, and Frankfurt an der Oder. Community statutes were formulated in 1728 under a decree of the provincial governor Stanisław Potocki (d. 1760).

In 1774 a fire that affected half the town completely destroyed the Jewish quarter, including the synagogue, which had stood since the previous century. Nearly all of the community's records were also lost to the fire, so that documentation of the earlier history is scant. The synagogue was rebuilt but burned again in another town fire in 1827. The construction of a new synagogue was not undertaken until 1843-1846. In the intervening years services were held in the ten prayer houses. The new synagogue was dedicated in September 1846 by Rabbi Julius Gebhardt; it was a massive building, among the largest in Posen province.

Krotoszyn—in German "Krotoschin"—was located in territory annexed by the kingdom of Prussia in the Second Partition of Poland, in 1793, becoming the seat of the county (Kreis) of the same name, in the Prussian province of South Prussia. In 1807, following Prussia's defeat in the Napoleonic wars, South Prussia was part of the territory that Prussia ceded to France under the Treaty of Tilsit, and which became part of the quasi-independent Duchy of Warsaw. A few years later, following Napoleon's defeat, most of what had been South Prussia, including Krotoschin county, reverted to Prussia, under the settlement reached at the Congress of Vienna, in 1815, becoming part of the newly constituted Grand Duchy of Posen. After the adoption of the Prussian constitution of 1848/1850 the duchy became known as the Province of Posen.

In 1793 there were 1,384 Jews in Krotoschin, comprising approximately 37% of the town's total population (3,692). Based on death statistics, there were likely well over 1,800 Jews in Krotoszyn in 1828, and there were approximately 2,200 by 1837. The size of the Jewish community peaked in around 1849, when there were 2,327 Jews in the town, making up approximately 30% of the total population.

By profession, community members were mostly engaged in retail trade and handicrafts, with tailors, furriers, glove makers, and lace makers well represented.

Krotoschin was a notable center of Jewish learning and scholarship. Prominent scholars active there who also served as rabbis of the community included, in the 17th century, Menahem Mendel ben Meshullam Auerbach (served in Krotoschin from 1673 until his death in 1689); in the 18th century, Menachem Mendel ben Moses Auerbach (served 1732-1755; d. 1760), and Benjamin Katzenellenbogen (served 1774-1792); and, in the 19th century, David Joel and Eduard Baneth.

The community was also a center of Hebrew publishing, beginning in the mid 18th century. A well known printer and publisher of Krotoschin was B. L. (Baer Loeb) Monasch (d. 1876). His company, founded in the early 1830s, also brought out works in German, and remained in existence through 1901.

A Jewish elementary school, recognized by the government, was established in 1850, in its own building, through the efforts of the Verein zur Wahrung jüdischer Interessen (Society for the protection of Jewish interests); in 1860 approximately 500 students attended the school. Later on, a school devoted to Hebrew and religious instruction was established.

The Krotoschin synagogue underwent a major renovation in 1894, and an organ was installed.

In the second half of the 19th century, the community steadily declined in size, mostly due to members moving away to larger German cities. The community numbered 2,098 in 1857; 1,149 in 1871; and 670 in 1900. In 1907, there were 527 Jews in the town, making up approximately 3% of the total population.

In spring 1919, pursuant to the treaties following the First World War, Krotoschin became part of the Second Polish Republic. Many Jews as well as non-Jewish Germans moved away at that point. In 1925 the Jewish community numbered approximately 120 members, or 1% of the town population. In 1939, only 50 Jews remained; and there may have been under 20 by the time of the Nazi invasion in September 1939, marking the outbreak of the Second World War. Under Nazi administration, the Posen province became part of Reichsgau Wartheland. The small number of Jews remaining in the town were deported to the Łłódź ghetto by early 1940.

Rabbis, community leaders, and other prominent figures in the 19th to 20th century

Following are rabbis who served the Krotoschin community, with approximate years of service:

Herschel Cohen (or: Hirsch Kohen; son of Raphael Cohen, Hamburg), circa 1803 until his death in December 1827
Beer Lichtenstädt (also known as "Lichtenstein"), 1828 until his death in April 1837
Löbel Goldschmidt (dayan), 1825 until his death in May 1832
Samuel Mendelssohn (dayan), 1828 until his death in April 1866
Israel Goldschmidt (dayan), 1852—circa 1858
David Joel, December 1859—early 1880
Eduard Baneth, 1882-1895
Heinrich Berger, 1896-1912
Gustav Cohn, 1912-1920

Following, with approximate years of service (gleaned, as best as possible, from the files in the present collection), are community members who served as chair (Vorsteher) of the community executive (Vorstand) from the early 19th century through the First World War:

Salomon Krüger, circa 1828
Michael Rosenstein, 1834-1850
Joseph Israel Goldschmidt, 1850-1855
Auerbach and/or Herzsohn, circa 1857-1866
Louis Bendix, 1867-1872
Meyer Katzenellenbogen, 1872-1874, 1881
Joel Auerbach, 1875-1876
Louis Cohn, circa 1879
Marcus Levy, Moritz Prinz, and/or K.[?] Grünspach, circa 1885-1887
Marcus Levy, circa 1887-1889, 1900-1902
Adolf Katzenellenbogen, 1891-1893
Emil Cohn, 1894-1896, 1900-1902
A. Grünspach, 1903-1907
Otto Hepner, 1907
Julius Neumark, 1908 until his death in April 1913
Louis Daniel, circa 1915

and those who served as chair of the representatives' assembly:

Israel Abraham Goldschmidt, 1834-1837, 1840-1843
H. Alba, 1837-1840
A. Sochaczewski, 1843-1845
H. Karo, circa late 1840s
Louis Cohn, circa 1855-1857
Joseph Israel Goldschmidt, 1863-1868
S. H. Eppenstein, 1869-1872
Louis Dienemann, 1872-1876, circa 1881, 1886-1889
M. Auerbach, circa 1891, 1900, 1905
Simon Lewy/Levy, circa 1906, 1910
Louis Sklarek, circa 1910
Manheim, circa 1911
Heimann Daniel, 1911-1915

Other prominent Jews of Krotoschin not already mentioned included Rabbis Abraham Meyer Goldschmidt (d. 1889), Isidor Kalisch (d. 1886), Aron Pulvermacher, Simon Eppenstein (d. 1920), and Max Dienemann (d. 1939); teachers Hermann Warschauer (d. 1880) and Albert Herbst (d. 1907); historian Bruno Gebhardt (d. 1905); scholar Georg Huth (d. 1906); and the feminist and educator Henriette Goldschmidt (née Benas, d. 1920; wife of Rabbi Abraham Goldschmidt).

Postscript

No Jewish community was ever re-established in Krotoszyn in the post-World War II period. The Krotoszyn synagogue, located on Potter's Square (Garncarskiej plac), was destroyed during the Nazi occupation, circa 1940-1941. The site was apparently razed after the war, leaving an empty square; the property was returned to the Wrocław (Breslau) Jewish community sometime after 1989, and in 2016 was sold to a private party. The Jewish cemetery, located on ulica (street) Ostrowskiej between the streets Głowackiego and Sosnową, was also desecrated during the Nazi period; the gravestones were removed and used for building blocks in various places in the city. One surviving intact gravestone was transferred to Krotoszyn's Regional Museum in 1975. In 2005, a wall that was built on the grounds of St. Roch Catholic church was partially dismantled, and gravestone fragments from there as well as elsewhere in the city were recovered; the same year the chief rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, gave permission for the construction of a lapidarium. Under a 2010 agreement between the town and the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland (ZGWŻ), the site of the former Jewish cemetery is partially used for residential buildings, with two thirds remaining as greenery.

References

Alicke, Klaus-Dieter (2008). Lexikon der jüdischen Gemeinden im deutschen Sprachraum. 3 vols. Güterloh: Güterloher Verlagshaus. Vol. 2. "Krotoschin (Posen)." Available online at: www.jüdische-gemeinden.de

Berger, Heinrich (1907). "Zur Geschichte der Juden in Krotoschin." Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums. Issue 3, p. 359-380. Available online, in the Compact Memory collection, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main.

Heppner, Aaron, and Isaak Herzberg (1909). Aus Vergangenheit und Gegenwart der Juden und der jüd[ischen] Gemeinden in den Posener Landen. Koschmin and Bromberg. Vol. II, issue 15. "Krotoschin," p. 561-583. Available online, in the Aron Freimann collection, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main.

International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS). "Krotoszyn." International Jewish Cemetery Project.

Kirshenboim, Shimshon Leib, and Danuta Dombrowska (2007). "Krotoszyn." Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik (Eds.), Encyclopaedia Judaica. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA. Vol. 12, p. 373-374.

Virtual Shtetl. "Krotoszyn" (in Polish, with some parts available in English translation). Originally a project of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, since 2012 the Virtual Shtetl website, www.sztetl.org.pl, is sponsored by the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

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Scope and Content Note

The collection comprises a portion of the records of the Jewish community of Krotoszyn, which today is in the Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland. The records are dated 1828 to 1919. During this period the town was located in the Posen (Poznań) region of Prussia and, after 1871, of the German Empire, and was generally known by the German name "Krotoschin." Originally Polish, the town had been annexed by Prussia in 1793, in the Second Partition of Poland. In 1919, following the First World War, it was incorporated into the Second Republic of Poland. Only a small Jewish community remained in Krotoszyn during the interwar period. The records are almost entirely those of the Jewish communal administration, or council, of Krotoschin, with just three files of a somewhat different provenance, two pertaining to voluntary associations of the community (Folders 29 and 35), and another containing official correspondence kept by the teacher of the Jewish elementary school (Folder 38).

Approximately 40% of the collection comprises property and financial records (Series I), including correspondence with the government, with community members, and internally between the community executive and the representatives' assembly; and documents such as tax lists, insurance policies, plans/drawings of property, a debt repayment plan, and mortgage records. One volume in this series contains the oldest records in the collection, dated 1828 to 1830, related to assessing damage and negotiating compensation in the wake of the town fire of 1827 (Folder 1). Aside from a single volume of supporting financial documents, for income and expenses in the year 1835 (Folder 3), the collection lacks any formal financial accounts.

Another 40% of the collection comprises files of communal meeting minutes, and related correspondence, covering a variety of administrative as well as financial topics, along with meeting notices, announcements, and other ephemera (Series II). These records, spanning the period from 1834 to 1919, with gaps, include a file on communal elections of 1834 to 1872 (Folder 15); correspondence files pertaining to marriages, 1834-1841 (Folder 24), and requests for death certificates, 1834-1858 (Folder 25); and employment-related records pertaining to the position of rabbi, in 1895 (Folder 20), cantor/shochet, in 1904-1910 (Folder 21), and cemetery attendant, 1873-1913 (Folder 22).

The remainder of the collection pertains to charitable activities and, to a small extent, education (Series III). The former encompasses aid to community members as well as contributions to outside Jewish causes. Included are records related to distributions the community received from the bequest of Michael S. Freyhan, Breslau (Folder 30-31); contracts for distribution of flour and matzot to the poor at Passover time (Folder 32); participation in campaigns to aid Russian Jews, as well as combat anti-Semitism (1891-1905; Folders 33-34, including appeals from the Deutsches Central-Komitee für die russischen Juden); and appeals from a variety of other Jewish institutions and organizations (Folder 36), as well as a few Jewish communities. A small amount of material is included from two voluntary associations, one to clothe schoolchildren, 1834-1836 (Folder 29) and the other to provide charitable support to Jewish travelers around the turn of the 20th century (Folder 35). Series I also includes documentation of the Raschi Verein of Krotoszyn (Folder 1).

The small amount of correspondence with the Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeindebund (Folder 36) pertains not only to the latter's charitable work but also to the Krotoschin community's sending its archival records to Berlin, for inclusion in what became the Gesamtarchiv der Deutschen Juden.

Over 95% of the materials by extent comprise bound volumes of records, as they were prepared in the community, usually with their original covers intact, and, in most instances, formally inscribed with titles. In the inventory list below, the folder titles are taken from the original German titles, and an English-language title is given on the following line. On the covers of the volumes, the title (subject line) of the file is typically preceded by the phrase: "Acta israelitischen Korporation zu Krotoschin betreffend…" (Records of the Jewish community of Krotoschin, concerning…), or, in the case of volumes dating from the 1890s and later, the phrase: "Acta des Vorstandes der Synagogen-Gemeinde Krotoschin" (Records of the executive of the Jewish community of Krotoschin). In a few instances, volumes bear only an informal title indicating the topic. A small amount of the materials arrived in the form of loose documents, without any original folders. Those files, therefore, have no German title but only a supplied title in English. Folders containing loose documents are specified as such in the folder description. For the smaller bound volumes of up to 50 leaves, a leaf count is provided.

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Arrangement

The great majority of the materials are volumes of records that were bound and titled in the community. In addition, many of the volumes have on the front cover what is apparently a location designation, usually indicating a shelf or compartment, and position number (e.g. "Fach 4, No. 1")—a labeling system that was applied in the community, likely reflecting how the volumes were stored. Those designations, when present, are included here in parentheses following the original German title. (A few volumes do not have such a designation, and a small amount of material arrived as loose documents, with no original folders.) The sequence of the volumes according to these location designations has large gaps and does not in and of itself reflect any consistent intellectual arrangement. During the present processing, therefore, the volumes have been grouped into the present three series, representing broad categories of records, in order to facilitate an overview. Care was taken to keep related volumes together, based on content (and as sometimes reflected in similar location designations).

The collection is arranged in the following series:

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

Permission to use the collection must be obtained from the YIVO Archivist.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish part or parts of the collection must be obtained from the YIVO Archives.

For more information, contact:
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011
email: archives@yivo.cjh.org

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Related Materials

Two fires in the town of Krotoschin in 1774 and 1827 destroyed most of the community's older records. Beginning in 1905, a significant grouping of the Krotoschin community archives was given to the Gesamtarchiv der deutschen Juden (Central Archives of German Jewry), Berlin. An inventory list of the initial donation, made in 1905, to the Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeindebund, is found in the present collection (Folder 38); the Gesamtarchiv subsequently began operations in 1906, and it existed until 1938. An inventory of Krotoschin community materials was published in the newsletter of the Gesamtarchiv in 1910 (Mitteilungen des Gesamtarchivs der deutschen Juden, 2. Jahrg., p. 29-36). Those materials included the community's charter of 1638, a death registry beginning in 1675, and other materials dated 1830 to 1901.

Some of the materials from the Gesamtarchiv were taken over by the East German state archives in the post-World War II period, and later returned to the German-Jewish community; today that portion of those materials can be found in the archives of the Centrum Judaicum foundation, located at the Neue Synagoge (New Synagogue), on Oranienburger Strasse, in Berlin. A catalog was published in 2001, as Volume 6, Parts 1 and 2, of Quellen zur Geschichte der Juden in den Archiven der neuen Bundesländer, edited by Stefi Jersch-Wenzel und Reinhard Rürup (Munich: Saur). This catalog (Part 1) details 40 files pertaining to the Krotoschin community, dating from 1825 to 1901, some of which appear to correspond to files listed in the inventory published by the Gesamtarchiv in 1910.

The Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw, holds some materials related to the Krotoschin community under the heading "Gminy żydowskie prowincji poznańskiej. Krotoschin (Krotoszyn)," including a death register 1846-1938. Also, scattered related materials can be found in the Polish state archives in Krotoszyn, Poznań, and Kalisz, as detailed in the following publication: Quellen zur Geschichte der Juden in polnischen Archiven, edited by Stefi Jersch-Wenzel (Munich: Saur, 2003).

According to an earlier finding aid for the present collection, produced by Dr. Steven M. Lowenstein at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in the 1970s, portions of records from the Krotoschin community can also be found in the former "Osobyi" (Special) archive in Moscow, a repository for records confiscated by the Red Army from Germany and other countries during World War II.

The Leo Baeck Institute, New York, holds an index of the graves in the Krotoschin community cemetery, circa early 20th century, by Simon Lewy, chair of the Verein der Krotoschiner in Breslau (call no. AR 760), and photocopies of various 18th- to mid 19th-century records of the community, in the Jacob Jacobson Collection (AR 7002). Also, the Lewin Collection, held by Yeshiva University, contains a variety of records of Jewish communities in Central and Eastern Europe, including some materials from the Krotoschin community.

The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research holds other records of Jewish communities in Germany, including: RG 13 Ostrowo (Ostrów Wielkopolski) Jewish Community Council; RG 15 Briesen (Wąbrzeźno) Jewish Community Council; RG 244 Adelebsen Jewish Community; and RG 31 Germany (Vilna Archives) Collection, Series IV, containing smaller groupings of records of the Filehne (Wieleń), Raschkow (Raszków), and Rybnik communities.

Finally, the archives of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York, also at the Center for Jewish History, focuses on materials pertaining to the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry.

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Other Finding Aid

The earlier finding aid produced by Steven M. Lowenstein in the 1970s is on file at YIVO, as well as a concordance of the old and new folder numbers.

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Custodial History

The collection was received by the YIVO Institute in Vilna in the prewar period. During the German occupation of Vilna in 1942, these records were among the materials looted by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (a special task force of the National Socialist regime devoted to the plunder of art and cultural artifacts) and sent to the Institut zur Erforschung der Judenfrage (Institute for Study of the Jewish Question), an institution of the National Socialist Party (NSDAP), in Frankfurt am Main. In 1945 these records were among materials recovered by the U.S. Army and returned to the YIVO Institute in New York, via the U.S. Army archival depot in Offenbach. The records arrived at YIVO in New York in 1947.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should read as follows:

Identification of item, date (if known); YIVO Archives; Records of the Krotoszyn Jewish Community Council; RG 14; folder number.

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Processing information

During the current processing the materials were transferred into new acid-free archival folders, and the folders were newly arranged and numbered sequentially (see the Arrangement note). The materials also underwent conservation treatment.

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Access Points

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Container List

 

Series I: Property and financial records, 1828-1913

In German, with occasional occurrence of Yiddish or Hebrew.
13 folders, including one oversize volume
Arrangement:

Arranged roughly in chronological order, with related files kept together.

Scope and Content:

This series contains records related to community property and finances, comprising only a scattered selection of such records. Three files pertain to property: Folder 1 relates to property matters in the wake of the town fire of 1827, as well as the community's negotiations with the Raschi Verein in the early 20th century (with inclusion of the organization's constitution of 1900); Folder 12 concerns insurance policies, from the mid 19th century to 1905, with inventories; and Folder 13 consists of an architectural drawing related to a planned renovation of the Jewish elementary school in 1913.

The remaining files in the series are financial records, dating from 1834 to 1870. These include two files related to a community commission that oversaw repayment of the communal debt, beginning in the 1830s (Folders 4-5). Three files pertain to communal tax contributions (Folders 9-11), including tax lists in the period 1835 to 1837 (Folder 9), and petitions/complaints from community members about their tax assessments in the 1860s (Folder 11); and one specifically concerning the military recruitment tax, in 1834-1835 (Folder 2). The latter tax was levied on the community in light of Jews' exemption from military service, and particular families who had sons serving could gain an exemption from it; the tax was eliminated in Posen around 1846 as a result of a change in the law that made military service compulsory for Jews, the same as for the general population (which had already been the case in the rest of Prussia earlier on).

The series does not include any of the formal financial statements that the community would have submitted annually to the government, but there is one volume containing the supporting documents for the year 1835 (Folder 3). Finally, there are two files concerning court cases over financial disputes (Folders 6-7), and another containing a legal opinion related to the calculation of the subsidy for the Jewish elementary school (Folder 8).

Related materials elsewhere in the collection include: in Series II, general correspondence pertaining in part to financial matters (Folders 16-18), and employees' contracts and related correspondence (Folder 22). Records specifically concerning charitable activities, or dues or contributions to national Jewish organizations are found in Series III.

BoxFolderTitleDate
1 1 Fleischerschul (Fach 4, No. 1)
Property matters pertaining to the Fleischerschul (Jewish butchers' association and their temple), later called the Raschi Verein; and older files on compensation and rebuilding following town fire of 1827
1828-1830, 1908-1910
  

Some 30 leaves at the back of the volume, dated 1908-1910, concern property issues related to the Raschi Verein, originally called the Fleischershul(e), a Jewish butchers' trade association (also "jüdische Fleischerzunft") that from before 1822 had maintained its own temple and the property where it was located; the remainder of the file (more than two thirds of it) comprises older materials, dated 1828-1830, concerning assessment of damage and plans for rebuilding communal buildings and houses, following the town fire of 1827. Includes, in the earlier period: correspondence with the government; petitions from the community; government invoices/receipts; cost estimates for building projects; report about community and private properties affected by the fire, with drawing/plan of community buildings and houses, and list of communally held plots of land; list of private house owners with attestations as to plans for rebuilding. Two letters to the community are in Yiddish, with postal receipt for item addressed to Abraham Eiger, Rawicz. In the later period: correspondence with attorney; minutes of meeting of the executives of the community and the Raschi-Verein, concerning an agreement about daily synagogue services acceptable to the Verein, which would then relinquish its property to the community; letter of community executive to the representatives; meeting notices, including one of the Raschi-Verein with list of members; minutes/decisions of the community council and of the Raschi-Verein, including letter from the Verein with copy of constitution of 1900; and attorney's report on the history of the Fleischerschule property.


The file title "Akta Fleischerschul" is informally written on the front cover, apparently dating from the later period, while an inside title page pertaining to the older materials reads "Acta betreffend der von den Synagogen Brandstellen von den königl. Conducteur zu entschädigen Verwaltungs Gelder, so wie den Correspondans deren Bauangelegenheiten" (files on matters of compensatory monies for the community from the government assessor for property damaged by the town fire, as well as correspondence about related construction matters).

 
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1 2 Die Recrutensteuer (Fach 5?; No. 1, Litt. A)
Recruitment tax
1834-1835
  

Concerns the tax paid in lieu of military service. Correspondence with the government concerning individual taxpayers as well as general tax matters; correspondence from executive to representative assembly; petitions from community members for exemption; communal minutes/decisions; communal announcements; attestation by Jewish community of Mixstadt (for Schächter Moses Freudenthal, indicating his payment of the tax in advance, prior to his move to Krotoschin); community account statement pertaining to collection of the tax (f. 28); lists of amounts owed by community members in arrears (f. 40, 113); and tax list (333 names), March 1835. Includes a letter from the police office in Rawicz (concerning Wolff Abraham Baruch Loewe/Lewy, f. 2; see also f. 98-99). Some Yiddish signatures.

 
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1 3 Belege über Einnahme und Ausgabe der israelitischen Corporations-Casse zu Krotoszyn pro 1835
Accounts of the Jewish Community of Krotoschin treasury for 1835: Supporting documents for income and expenses
1835
  

List for military recruitment tax (Recrutensteuer; 322 names), list of contributors and amounts for Passover flour for the poor (196 names), communal tax list, communal decisions, list of various types of fees received from individuals (for weddings, burials, and incorporation), list of special contributions, and invoices/receipts. Items are numbered 1 to 221, with 1 to 9 pertaining to income, and 10 to 221 to expenses. Includes one bilingual announcement, in German and Yiddish (no. 201).

 
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1 4 Schulden Tilgungs Commission ... betreffend die Hypotheken-Sache von dem Grundstücke sub No. 138 (Fach 23 / R. N. 4)
Debt repayment commission, concerning the mortgage on property No. 138; new mortgage; sale of property
1836, 1841-1847, 1854-1864
  

Correspondence with the court and the government, and internally between the executive and the representatives' assembly; mortgage certificate (Hypotheken-Schein) for new mortgage, with plan showing location, 1842; communal decisions; petitions; drawing/plan of property, 1860; and one announcement, 1860, concerning sale. Earlier items concern the change in property records regarding a communal property (no. 138, Jewish hospital) that burned in the town fire of 1827, and for which the community received a different property in compensation. A letter from Thurn und Taxis treasury (Rentkammer), dated from Schloss Krotoschin, September 1842, concerns an appointment to settle the cancellation of the old mortgage. Later topics include an offer for purchase of the property, 1855, which the community declines; a proposal by the community executive to sell the property, 1858; a municipal requirement for fencing (Umzäunung), 1860; and sale of the property to Samuel Guttentag, 1860-1864.

 
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BoxFolderTitleDate
9-Oversize 5 Plan zur Tilgung der Schulden der Israelitischen Corporation zu Krotoschin
Debt repayment plan of the Jewish Community of Krotoschin
1839 October 20
  

The plan is dated on the last page (f. 65 verso) and signed by members of the community's Schulden-Tilgungs-Commission (Debt repayment commission), the executive and the representatives' assembly. The plan consists of the following parts: annual amortization accounts for the years 1839 to 1874 (f. 1-37), with breakdown by creditor; a summary chart (Recapitulation) giving total amounts by year (f. 38-39); and separate overviews (Uebersicht) of the entire period for each of the 24 creditors (f. 40-65). The largest amounts are owed to a number of Catholic churches in Krotoschin and various other localities, as well as the clergy of the Trinitarian monastery (Klostergeistlichkeit ad St. Trinitanum) in Krotoschin. Other creditors include the provincial school fund (Schulfond) of Posen; the furrier and tailor's guild (Kürschner- und Schneiderzunft), Krotoschin; the hospital in Krotoszyn; and three individuals, Solkind Piszczolek, Moses Sekel, and widow Rachel Klapper, all residents of Krotoschin. Many pages throughout the volume include emendations written in a different color (red) ink. The leaves of the volume are numbered, in red pencil, 1 to 65.

 
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BoxFolderTitleDate
1 6 Die Process-Sache der Krankenverpflegungsanstalt zu Breslau contra die Corporation (Fach 28 / R. N. 4, Lit. P)
Court case: Krankenverpflegungsanstalt zu Breslau v. Krotoschin Jewish community
1837-1840
  

Correspondence with Breslau Kranken-Verpflegungs-Anstalt (Khevre kadisha), and court documents. The case concerned the community's responsibility for the costs for treating the daughter of tailor Benas Buchwald, of Krotoschin, at the Breslau institute. 10 leaves.

 
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BoxFolderTitleDate
2 7 Justiz-Kommissarius Kubale
Court case: Jewish community of Krotoschin vs. Isaac Schück
1850-1853
  

Printed forms for sale of three synagogue seats to Schück, with results of auction and signed contract, 1850; and court documents in the case, 1852-1853, including copies of the complaint, the response to the complaint, and the judgment. Attorney Kubale represented the community in the case. 31 leaves.

 
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2 8 Gutachten
Attorney's legal opinion
1859 March 23
  

Evaluates the legal status of an agreement that the community entered into in 1835 with the local Christian school commission, pertaining to the method of calculating and granting a subsidy for the Jewish school, with the conclusion that, due to specified legal deficiencies, it had no current force. 11 leaves.

 
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2 9 Die Repartition der aufzubringenden Comunal Beiträge (Fach 38, Litt. R, Nro. 2)
Assessment of communal tax contributions
1834-1837, 1852
  

Correspondence with the government; announcements; petitions from and correspondence with community members; correspondence between the executive and the representatives; communal minutes/decisions; tax lists (202 names in 1835, 279 names in 1836, and 260 names/251 names in 1837); and lists of those in arrears (1835), with one list comprised of members who had moved to other localities (November 1835). Includes references to the communal tax (Communal-Beitrag), military recruitment tax (Rekrutensteuer), Passover flour contribution (Ostermehl-Beitrag), and school tax (Schulbeitrag). Only four items are dated 1852, comprising correspondence and communal minutes related to the need for new tax assessments (Repartition) for that year. Petitions, all dating from the years 1834-1837, include the following family names (in order of first occurrence): Hermann, Auerbach, Rozdraszewski, Jaffe, Lewy, Keiler, Urbach, Fränkel, Bock, Fabisch, Goldschmidt, Laufer, Markiewicz, Elias, Ernst, Loebel, Guttmann, Euphrat, Schwarzman, Benjamin, Kube, Ehrenfried, Dienemann, Guttmann, Boch, Nodak, Monasch, Daniel, Brock, Schreier, Seckel, Blum, Lederman, Fiedelmann, Schwarzwald, Dobczyce, Herbst, Jaeckel, Glaser, Lewi, Smuszewer, Freudenthal, Marcus, Wiener, Kunert, Smyszewer, Rawicki/Rawiczki, and Grabower. One item in Hebrew (January 1837) and some Yiddish signatures.

 
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2 10 Die Einziehung der Korporations-Beiträge (Fach 38, Nro. 3)
Collection of community tax contributions from members and former members in arrears
1858-1870
  

Correspondence with the government, mainly concerning individual tax bills; petitions from and correspondence with community members, or former members; lists of amounts collected from members who moved in recent years, grouped according to destination (Breslau, 1859, Adelnau county, 1859, Berlin, circa 1864); receipts; lists of back taxes owed by individuals (Resten-Liste); printed tax notices for individuals, issued by the Krotoschin community, and one issued by the Frankenstein community (addressed to S. N. Kayser, Krotoschin, 1861); attestations of receipt of tax notice (Steuerbekanntmachungszettel) by individuals; communal minutes/decisions; correspondence with municipal governments in other locations (e.g. Hundsfeld, Kempen, Ostrowo, Berlin, Thorn), either directly, or, more often, by way of the Krotoschin government office (Landrath); printed warrants of distress (Pfändungsbefehl) and execution reports (Executions-Bericht, Pfändungs-Protocoll) pertaining to former members living in Berlin; meeting circulars of the tax appraisal commission (Einschätzungs-Kommission), or the community executive; and one communal announcement (December 1859, concerning final tax contributions for 1859). Volume is approximately 2 inches thick.

 
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BoxFolderTitleDate
3 11 Präparations-Beschwerden wegen Korporationsbeiträge (Fach 39, Nro. 6)
Petitions concerning community tax contributions
1863-1869
  

Correspondence with the government; petitions from community members; lists of petitions, with notes about decisions of the commission charged with reviewing them, the Reklamations-Kommission; printed tax notices issued by the community to individuals; circulars calling meetings of the Reklamations-Kommission; communal minutes/decisions; and listings of petitioners with signatures acknowledging receipt of the decision, variously headed "Empfangs-Bescheinigung" (1863), "Documentum-Insinuationis" (Insinuations-Document; 1866), or "Behändigungsschein" (1868). Petitions include the following family names (in order of first occurrence): Nathan, Schreier, Lewy/Levy, Posner, Ruhmann, Schmul, Warszawski, Weissbein, Zendig, Mendelsohn, Lazarus, Wygodzinski, Keiler, Katz, Kayser, Hoff, Gotthelf, Laufer, Frost, Goldschmidt, Freund, Elkas, Daniel, Cohn, Bienstock, Illmer/Ilmer, Herbst, Feichmann, Auerbach, Katzenellenbogen, Rakwitz, Salomann, Morgenstern, Sekel, Glaser, Schramm, Pulvermann, Markus, Strumpf, Schmuckler, Moses, Neumark, Rawitzki, Romann, Reich, Schlenk, Grabower, Krause, Krüger, Ernst, Fuchs, Fabisch, Grünwald, Markiewicz, Matschke, Pick, Seelig, Sochaczewski, Sklarek, Teichmann, Wiener, Blum, Brodek, Eichel, Schönlank, Schwarzmann, Przytek, Bendix, Hirsch, Gabriel, Feibel, Joachim, Biber, Berger, Preuss, Pawel, Guttmann, Kunert, Wolff, and Prinz. Volume is approximately 1-3/4 inches thick.

 
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3 12 Versicherungen (Fach 13, Nro. 12)
Insurance
1868-1905
  

Inventory of communal silver and other items found in the synagogue, circa 1868-1870, including list of items presented as gifts, with donor names; insurance policies with Thuringia company, Erfurt, 1870-1905, and with Allgemeine Spiegelglas-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft, Mannheim, 1894; policy updates/extensions/amendments; premium receipts; certifications/correspondence from Posensche Provinzial-Feuersocietät, 1894, 1896, with inventory and plans of community buildings, 1896; correspondence with insurance companies, 1891-1902; communal minutes/decisions, 1891-1892, 1896; and draft application to Fides company, Berlin, circa 1900.

 
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3 13 Umbau der jüdischen Schule hierselbst
Architectural drawings for renovation of the Jewish elementary school
1913 March 30
  

Loose document (1 leaf). Five views on a single oversize sheet measuring 17-1/2 x 25-1/2 inches, signed by P. Werner, bricklayer/carpenter (Maurer-Zimmermeister). The views are of the exterior, the ground floor, the upper floor, the attic floor, and a cross-section.

 
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Series II: General correspondence, minutes, and ephemera, 1831, 1834-1858, 1873-1919

Predominantly in German, with some Hebrew and Yiddish.
15 folders
Arrangement:

Arranged roughly in chronological order, with groupings of related files kept together. Files related to representatives' meetings are followed by those pertaining to employment applications, then correspondence on other matters. Two folders of loose documents are at the end.

Scope and Content:

This series contains correspondence and minutes of the Krotoschin Jewish Community council, as well as meeting notices and community announcements. Especially noteworthy are two correspondence files, concerning community members' marriages (Folder 24), 1838-1841, and requests for death certificates, 1834-1858 (Folder 25). Also, two files contain numerous employment applications, for the positions of rabbi, in 1895 (Folder 20), and cantor/shochet (Folder 21), in 1904-1910; and one contains employment applications, contracts and other materials related to the position of cemetery attendant, 1873-1913 (Folder 22).

The remaining files, which pertain to a variety of administrative and financial matters, are concentrated in two disparate periods: on the one hand, the early 19th century, mainly 1834 to 1845 (Folders 14-16 and 23), including one folder on community council elections (with several lists of eligible voters) that extends to as late as 1872 (Folder 15); and, on the other hand, the early 20th century, mainly 1905 to 1915 (Folders 17-19), with one file pertaining to Jewish soldiers (leave for Jewish holidays, oath taking) and patriotic occasions (Folder 26) spanning the years 1891 to 1910.

Among the miscellaneous loose items at the end of the series (Folders 27-28) is a fragment (first and last leaf) of a pamphlet printed by the well known local Jewish publishing firm B. L. Monasch & Co., dating from the 1890s (Folder 28).

BoxFolderTitleDate
3 14 Die Einberufung der Repraesentanten (Fach 5; Litt. B, No. 15, Vol. II)
Representatives' assembly meetings, administrative infractions
1838-1845
  

Meeting notices/circulars for meetings of the representatives' assembly; correspondence with the government, and between the representatives assembly and the executive; and minutes/decisions of the assembly related to meetings and administrative matters. A government notice and accompanying notes, April 1839, concern a complaint of representatives' absences from meetings and fines to be assessed. Several items in August 1839 concern a complaint brought by Lippmann Fischel against Saul Tobias for his behavior at a meeting.

 
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BoxFolderTitleDate
4 15 Die Wahl der Repraesentanten und deren Anstellung (Fach 7, Litt. B, Nro. 1)
Election and induction of community representatives
1834-1872
  

Communal minutes/decisions; correspondence with the government, including copies of regulations/directives; correspondence between the executive and the representatives' assembly; communal announcements about elections; lists of eligible voters, with professions, 1837 (252 names), 1846 (279 names), 1843 (215 names), 1853 (270 names), 1863 (305 names); list of members eligible to serve as representatives, 1840 (42 names); meeting notices/circulars; minutes of election meetings held under the auspices of the mayor (1860, 1863); and petitions from representatives, or others. Topics include: election of community representatives and alternates, and chair of the representatives' assembly (occasionally, listings that include the executive body); government confirmation of election results; induction/inauguration of representatives; government regulations and clarifications; filling of vacant seats; voter eligibility in some individual cases (Marcus Pulvermacher, 1844; Hirsch Herbst, Fischel Lustigmacher, 1843; Loebel Lemmel Sklarek, 1846; Itzig Leib Seelig, 1847); petitions of representatives wishing to resign their office; and fining of members for unexcused absences. The earliest minutes, April 1834, contain the oath of office. One item, 1844, is an inquiry from an official in Pleschen concerning the community status of Lemmel and Aron Sklarek.

 
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4 16 Die Correspondenz der Repraesentanten (Fach 7, Litt. B, Nro. 2)
Correspondence of the representatives
1834-1842, 1845, 1849
  

Correspondence from the government, including copies of regulations/directives; correspondence between the executive and the representatives' assembly; communal minutes/decisions; invitations from teachers, 1837; petitions from community members; and meeting notices/circulars. Concerns administrative and financial matters, and the related government regulations. Topics include the drafting of budgets, community tax appraisal, community finances and accounts, privileges (Ehrenrechte), wedding fees (Rachasch), and leasing of mikveh revenue. Only a handful of items date from the 1840s. The single item in 1849 is a letter from the Prussian interior ministry in Posen, co-signed by the ministry for church and school administration, concerning the community's responsibility to maintain the existing Jewish elementary school. Approximately 17 petitions from individual community members are included, mostly concerning financial hardship. Includes correspondence, 1834, with the Jewish community of Lissa (Lion Levy), from whom the representatives of Krotoschin sought advice, concerning a debt repayment plan, with a copy of the Lissa community's plan. Some signatures in Yiddish.

 
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4 17 Sitzungs Verhandlungen der Repräsentanten (Fach 7, Nro. 11)
Minutes of the representatives, with related correspondence
1905-1909
  

Minutes/decisions, petitions, correspondence, and a few meeting notices/circulars and community announcements. The minutes, which appear to be continuous through the period, sometimes reflect joint meetings of the representatives with the executive body; in some instances, the representatives' minutes have notes from the executive joining the decisions, or adding other remarks. The meeting notices, 1906, mostly pertain to meetings of the executive body or special commissions. Petitioners include: teacher Ries, 1905; cantor H. Schindler, 1905; cantor Leopold Lemke, 1906, 1908, 1909; Lemke and Schindler jointly, 1907; Julius Gans, 1909; Rabbi Berger, 1909, as chair of the Verein für jüdische Geschichte und Literatur; and Louis Daniel, 1909. Correspondence includes a communal tax notice sent to Helen Urbach, 1905; an inquiry from the Jewish community of Dirschau, 1905, about a certain David Rosenthal; a letter of thanks from the community to teacher Ries, 1906; reports of the audit committee, 1907 (no. 56), 1908 (no. 80), 1909 (no. 96); a complaint to the executive from a group of representatives, about the assembly chair S. Lewy (February 1908); and requests from the executive for representatives' meetings, with agenda items. The majority of items in the volume are numbered, in blue pencil, 1 to 96, with some unnumbered items.

 
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BoxFolderTitleDate
5 18 Sitzungs-Verhandlungen der Representanten (Fach 7)
Minutes of the representatives, with related correspondence
1910-1913
  

Minutes/decisions, petitions, correspondence, a few meeting notices/circulars, and one cost estimate. Minutes typically reflect joint meetings of the representatives with the executive body. Included are minutes of the building committee, August 1910; report of the committee for audit of accounts, April 1910; and report of a commission charged with setting the rates for synagogue seats in the small synagogue, September 1910. Minutes of January 1911 concern the formation of eight committees (Commissionen) for particular tasks: construction, cemetery, choir, accounts audit (Rechnungs-Prüfung), treasury audit (Cassen-Revision), community facilities (Utensilien), bequests (Legaten), and kosher slaughter (Schächtungs-Revision). Petitioners include Julius Neumark, Itzig Schramm, Marie Gelles, and Markus Zydower, all in 1910. Correspondence includes requests from the executive for representatives' meetings, with agendas. The cost estimate, 1910, from F. Schulz, pertains to renovation of the pump station (Pumpwerk) of the cemetery.

 
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5 19 Curenden des Vorstandes und Representanten (Fach 7, No. 8)
Meeting notices of the executive and representatives; announcements
1910-1915
  

Notices/circulars concerning meetings of the representatives' assembly or the executive, joint meetings, or other gatherings; community announcements; correspondence between the community executive and the representatives' assembly; one decision of the representatives' assembly, September 1912, concerning synagogue seat rates; and one newspaper clipping (pasted to back cover), March 1911, of an announcement by the mayor, about a meeting in the town hall for an election of the Jewish school committee (Schulvorstand, Schulgemeinde). The meeting notices typically include agendas. Correspondence includes requests from the executive for representatives' meetings, with agenda items; and a resignation letter from community executive Julius Neumark, May 1912. Several communal announcements in early 1912 concern sermons by rabbi candidates, and in early 1913, by cantor candidates.

 
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5 20 Bewerbungen um die vacante Rabbiner-Stelle (Fach 6, No. 1)
Applications for vacant rabbi position
1895
  

Meeting notice/circular, letters of application, and correspondence with applicants. The meeting circular, the earliest dated item, concerns a farewell gathering of community leaders with Rabbi Baneth upon his departure. The rabbi applicants represented (in order of first occurrence): Moritz (Mose) Krakauer, Leobschütz; Seligman Pick, Marienburg; N. J. Weinstein, Vienna; S. Grünfeld, Berlin; Ludwig Hannes, Berlin (b. Fraustadt, 1868); Josephson, Lauenburg; Jacob Loevy/Loewy, Birkenfeld; Salomo Chodowski, Oels (b. 1853, son of rabbi in Wittkowo); Salomon Posner, Breslau (just completed doctoral studies there); and Salomon Richter, Filehne. 28 leaves.

 
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5 21 Bewerbungen der Cantor und Schächter, Religionslehrer-Stelle sowie Chorleiter
Applications for cantor/shochet position, including duties of religion teacher and choir director
1904, 1908, 1910
  

Application letters, curricula vitae, diplomas/attestations, and recommendation letters. Almost exclusively incoming correspondence, with only an occasional annotation reflecting action by the community council. One item is a telegram, 1904, and one enclosure is a program flier for a concert under J. Fried, 1893. Applicants (in order of first occurrence): In 1904: M. Sander, Steinau an der Oder; Sigmund Jäckel, Lüdenscheid; S. L. Ehrlich, Friedeberg; Kochanowski, Deutsch Krone; A. Steinkritzer, Rogasen; J. Bloch, Bad Carlsruhe; Abraham Weissmann, Mewe; Rawitscher, Löbau; Isidor Popper, Könen/Trier; S. Salzberg, Geneva; David Bannstein, Schwerin an der Warthe; Heymann Paglin, Königsberg; Jacob Fried, Leipzig; Bernhard Trotzky, Breslau; Sigmund Fink, Neupest; Leo Schochet, Berlin; H. Finkelstein, Koschmin; B. J. Meisel, Schwedt an der Oder; D. Heymann, Kobylin; H. Trachmann, Zielenzig; Leopold Schüftan, Pless; S. M. Perelmann, Pohrlitz; Benno Heymann, Rummelsburg; and Hermann Schiff, Badenfeld/Göttingen. In 1908: Simon Schmuckler, Borek; Kozminski, Kletzko; J. Warschawsky, Katscher; Markus May, Dzieditz; W. Warszanski[?], Filehne; A. Rabbinowitz, Bad Salzbrunn; Isaak Teitelmann, Bad Harzburg; G. Schwarzfuks, Bad Flinsberg; S. Glück, Cöthen; F. Chwoles[?], Saar-Union; Abraham Sacks, Gollub; B. Eisenberg, Mixstadt; Sigmund March, Gnézda; H. Goldring, Gollub; Michael Scheftelowitz, Tichau; Heimann Nebel, Breslau; E. Glassner, Cracow; M. Kornblum, Biala; Leopold Gadiel, Gembitz; P. Weiss, Tomaszow; Abraham Poretzki[?], Ortelsburg; Ignatz Braun, Pressburg; and Benno Heimann, Spiesen. In 1910: David Salomon, Rixdorf; Heinrich Saler, Saar-Union; Isidor Glück, Djakovár; David Bannstein, Strelno; J. Widmann, Hannover; J. Cohn, Potsdam; Abraham Weissmann, Oppeln; Hermann Scheftelwitz, Preussisch Holland; H. Trachmann, Preussisch Holland; and H. Jungmann, Forbach. Some Hebrew.

 
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5 22 Anstellung des Friedhofs-Diener Jankowski (Fach 6, No. 8)
Employment of cemetery attendant/gardener
1873-1894, 1898-1904, 1911-1913
  

Communal minutes/decisions, application letters (a few with recommendations), petitions, correspondence, contracts, invoices, receipt, and newspaper issue, 1889 (with ad for Friedhofsdiener). Pertains to the following employees: Gottlieb Zehler, 1873-1889; Ferdinand Rauch, 1886-1887; August Royl, 1887-1888; and Casimir Jankowski, 1889-1913, as well as the following applicants, 1886-1889, not hired: H. Feindl, Friedrich Schneider, Friedrich Wollenheim, Gottfried Weber, Wilhelm Stiller, Gottlieb Schetschorke, Val. Krawczynski, F. Sgraia, Otto Gresenz, Ferdinand Heider, Wilhelm Haenel, Karl Willig, Samuel Becher, Fusilier Brett, Herrman Graupe, and Carl Barufke. Topics are mostly employment-related, including salary raises, other compensation, insurance, and work responsibilities. Specific items include police attestation for Rauch from his hometown of Sulmierzyce, and attestation about his employment, signed by Louis Bursch; minutes and correspondence related to the firings of Zehler and, later, Jankowski; contracts for Royl and Jankowski; report of interviewing commission, 1886; and correspondence with Jankowski's wife (later widow), and children, following termination of his employment, in 1913, in part concerning the widow's eviction from the premises. Other correspondence includes two letters, 1901, from the town police concerning responsibility for street cleaning near the cemetery; and a government directive, 1911, supporting a petition of the German association of cemetery workers (Verband der Friedhofsbeamten Deutschlands) to do away with the job title "Totengräber" (grave digger), because of its social stigma, in favor of more generic terms (note about the community's response indicates it had never used the designation). Also: an inquiry from the Jewish community of Ostrowo, June 1888, with response, concerning details of administration, related to the cemetery and mikveh, and Hebrew religious instruction in gymnasium.

 
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BoxFolderTitleDate
6 23 Miscellania (Fach 29, Litt. M, Nro. 1)
General correspondence, announcements
1831, 1834-1837
  

Correspondence with the government, and internally; petitions from community members, and others; communal minutes/decisions; meeting notices and other circulars; and announcements. Includes items from or pertaining to rabbis Beer Lichtenstädt and Samuel Mendelssohn, and shochet Salomon Herz; cantors or preachers Elias Last, Isak Reisemann of Trebitsch, and Aron Hirsch; and the organizations Jugend-Verein, Mischmorim Verein, Talmud Thora Verein, and Raschi Verein. Topics include: the status of a prayer house previously maintained by tailors, 1834; procedural and governance matters; attestations for community members; estates; and requests for Jewish prisoners to be given leave on Jewish holidays. One item is a printed flier from Prausnitz book dealer, Glogau, 1836. One item in Hebrew (September 1834) and one in Yiddish (1831 attachment to minutes, May 1836), as well as some Yiddish signatures.

 
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6 24 Die Heiraths-Sachen und die Nachsuchung resp. Ertheilung der Trauscheine (Fach 21, Nro. 3, Vol. III / R No. 2, Lit. H)
Marriage banns, petitions to marry, and related matters
1838-1841
  

Petitions from and correspondence with community members; attestations of marriage bans; communal minutes/decisions; correspondence with the government, including government permissions for individual marriages (Heiraths-Consens); and one communal announcement (f. 110). Permissions are typically granted by the office in Krotoschin (Landrath); in several instances permissions with waiver of the age requirement for non-naturalized Jews (24 years) are issued by the Posen provincial president (e.g. f. 134). Some correspondence (December 1839) concerns setting the rates of wedding contributions (Heiratsabgabe), including exchanges with the government, f. 128-129, and with the Jewish community of Borek, f. 96-97 (with minutes of the Borek community). A copy of a government directive refers to submission of certification of age and ability to earn a living, in the case of non-naturalized Jews applying to marry (f. 126). Some permissions or attestations are from the Jewish communities and/or government offices of other towns: Schrimm (Schönche Katz, f. 21), Inowroclaw (Jonas Weitz, Sulmierzyce, f. 52; Henriette Schlesinger, f. 64), Ostrowo (Abraham Tisch, f. 93; Julius Deutschert, f. 105), Adelnau (Heymann Nathan, 1840); Raschkow (Marcus Schlome, f. 112-114; Julius Ledermann, 1841); and Rawicz (Wolf Lichtenstein, f. 124-125). Other hometowns that occur: Gnesen, Pleschen, Bomst, Kempen, Dolzig, Borek, Kobylin, Wreschen, and Jarocin. One bride-to-be is Jette Auerbach, daughter of Rabbi Mannheim Auerbach of Ostrowo (f. 57). One item is a court notice concerning ending the guardianship over bride-to-be Hanne Huth, 1841. Some Yiddish signatures. The leaves in approximately the first three quarters of the volume are numbered, in red pencil, 1 to 130. Volume is approximately 2 inches thick.

 
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6 25 Die Ertheilung der Todtenscheine und der Correspondence hierüber (Fach 36, Litt. S, Nro. 3)
Death certificates and related correspondence
1834-1848, 1850-1851, 1858
  

Correspondence with individuals and government entities regarding requests for death certificates; and copies of death certificates/attestations, often with names and birth dates of surviving spouse and/or children. The items relate to well over 100 families. Includes items concerning rabbis Tobias Casper Ascher/Asche (October 1837) and Baer/Beer Lichtenstädt (February 1838). One item does not concern a death certificate but, rather, the naming of a new guardian for the surviving children of Mathias Kleber (October 1834). Most items from the community are in the hand of executive chair Rosenstein, through 1848. Only a handful of items date from the 1850s.

 
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BoxFolderTitleDate
7 26 Militair-Angelegenheiten resp. Beurlaubung der jüdischen Soldaten zu den Feiertagen (Fach 1, Nro. 5)
Correspondence with the military authorities concerning furlough for Jewish soldiers for their holidays, and other matters, including patriotic occasions
1891-1910
  

Correspondence with regimental commanders; circulars to community council members; announcements; and one communal decision. Topics include leave for Jewish soldiers to attend religious services during the Jewish holidays; ceremony in preparation for oath-taking (Feier zur Vorbereitung der Vereidigung) of Jewish soldiers, held in the synagogue; and patriotic ceremonies (e.g. for the emperor's birthday) held in the synagogue. The communal decision (no. 6), with an exchange between the executive and the representatives' assembly, concerns funds for feeding of poor Jewish soldiers at Passover time in 1899.

 
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7 27 Correspondence: Various
1870, 1905, 1915-1919
  

Loose documents (5 items). Includes: Letter from the district court, 1870, concerning the guardianship case of Hannchen and Joseph Wolff. Letter of application for post as cantor, 1905, from B. Goldstein, Berlin (with no enclosures, and a generic greeting that does not specify Krotoschin). Letter, 1915, from the Commerz- und Disconto-Bank, Berlin, which apparently accompanied a 1,000 Mark bond (Schlesische Kleinbahn-Obligationen), sent by Stephan Ruhmann. Letter, 1918, from Heinrich Berger, former rabbi of the community, thanking the community for their message on a happy occasion for him and his wife. Postcard, 1919, from the executive of the Posen community, Friedlaender, evidently in response to a query about the delivery of foods for Passover, with reference to the blockade of Berlin.

 
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7 28 Ephemera, miscellaneous
undated, 1892-1909
  

Loose documents (6 items). Includes: Receipt for W. Singer's contribution to the Kranken-Verpflegungs- und Beerdigungs-Verein, 1892. Fragment of a pamphlet of texts to synagogue songs, "Texte zu den synagogalen Gesängen in Krotoschin," circa 1896, printed by B. L. Monasch & Co., consisting of the title leaf and the last leaf, showing page 15 (last page), with a few lines of text. Blank admittance card for a women's seat in the synagogue, 1902. Business letter from A. Gura, Krotoschin, to Karl Neumann, Breslau, 1909, responding to the latter's order for certain goods. A sheet with one sentence, the beginning of minutes of a meeting of the executive, undated. A fragmentary address page addressed to the community executive, from a government office in Görchen, undated.

 
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Series III: Charitable activities and education, 1828, 1834-1839, 1852-1913, 1919

In German, with occasional occurrence of Yiddish.
12 folders
Arrangement:

Arranged roughly in chronological order, with related files kept together. The majority of the materials are related to charitable activities; three files pertaining to schools are found at the end.

Scope and Content:

This series contains mainly records pertaining to charitable activities of the community and its voluntary associations, including aid to community members and donations to external causes and organizations. At the end of the series is a small amount of material related to education, including items pertaining to the religious school, which gave instruction in Hebrew (Folders 38-39); and a file of materials, evidently kept by teacher Margolius, concerning the Jewish elementary school (Folder 40), in 1919, at the time that the town was being integrated into Poland after World War I.

Among the records on charitable aid, specific topics include the following: the activities of a community association dedicated to clothing poor, orphaned children, mainly in 1834-1836 (Folder 29); the distribution of funds received by the community from the bequest of Michael Salomon Freyhan (1752-1826) of Breslau in the period from 1834 to 1839, and 1858 to 1899 (Folders 30-31; the Freyhan bequest benefitted a total of five Jewish communities, the others being Gross-Glogau, Zülz, Lisse, and Kempen); contracts for the distribution of matzot to the poor and to Jewish soldiers, 1859-1874, as well as appeals concerning the feeding of Jewish prisoners (Folder 32); aid to Russian Jews in the 1890s and 1905 (Folder 33); and bylaws of a community charitable society for support of the poor, from around the turn of the 20th century (Folder 35).

Finally, Folder 36 contains correspondence with a charitable commission of the Deutsch-Israelitischer Gemeindebund (DIGB), a federation of Jewish communities founded in 1869, as well as correspondence with various other Jewish charitable, religious, or cultural organizations, and several Jewish communities.

Among the correspondence with the DIGB, particularly notable are a few items, in June 1905, pertaining to a shipment of the community's archival records to the Gemeindebund's office in Berlin; those records became part of the Gesamtarchiv der deutschen Juden (Central archives of the German Jews), which was formally established in October of the same year. The Gesamtarchiv published an inventory of the Krotoszyn community records in 1910, in its newsletter, Mitteilungen des Gesamtarchivs der deutschen Juden, vol. 2, p. 29-36.

Files elsewhere in the collection related to charitable activities or education include: in Series I, an 1859 legal opinion concerning the calculation of the subsidy for the Jewish elementary school (Folder 8); and, in Series II, petitions from community members in the 1830s, and a letter from the government, 1849, concerning the Jewish elementary school (both in Folder 16); and items concerning the feeding of poor Jewish soldiers in 1899 (Folder 26).

BoxFolderTitleDate
7 29 Der Verein zur Bekleidung armer, elternloser Schulkinder (Fach 46, Litt. V, No. 1)
Society to provide clothing for poor, orphaned schoolchildren
1834-1836, 1852-1853
  

Correspondence of the community executive with the government and with the Verein; communal decisions; bylaws of the newly founded Verein, dated April 1834 (2 copies); list of members, with amounts of dues pledged (50 members), circa 1834; lists of members owing dues, 1835; lists of schoolboys receiving aid, 1835-1836; financial accounts of the Verein, 1834/1835, with supporting documents for expenses (pay orders, invoices, receipts) numbered 1 to 15; list of poor children who had missed school in 1852. Some Yiddish signatures.

 
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7 30 Das Freihan’sche Legat zu Breslau (Fach 27)
Bequest of Michael Salomon Freyhan, Breslau
1828, 1834-1839
  

Correspondence with the government, and with the curatorium of the Freihan foundation (Stiftung), Breslau, including Marcus Beer Friedenthal, the executor (Curator); copy of mortgage certificate related to two manors, Krippitz and Ulsche, in Silesia, 1828, as the basis of the bequest; petitions; two apprenticeship contracts (one in the form of minutes of a municipal hearing); communal decisions; annual lists of recipients of payments from the fund; and invoices and receipts. Topics of correspondence with the Freihan curatorium include distribution of aid to the poor on the yahrzeit of Freyhan; support of apprenticeships; and selection of rabbis to give religious instruction to poor children and/or translate piyutim into German. Includes items pertaining to the apprentices Baruch Abraham Saeckel and Jacob Frost, and the rabbis Beer Lichtenstädt, Samuel Mendelssohn, and Israel Goldschmidt. Two items (1837, 1839), as well as some signatures, in Yiddish.

 
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7 31 Das Freyhansche Legat
Bequest of Michael Salomon Freyhan, Breslau
1858-1899
  

Petitions; communal decisions; annual lists of recipients of payments from the fund; correspondence with the curatorium of the Freyhan foundation (Stiftung); apprenticeship contracts; invoices and receipts; money order stubs for annual payments made by the curatorium; grade school diploma (Nathan Lobel, 1869); questionnaire about communal life, 1876, from the executive committee of the Gnesen assembly of rabbis; and letter from Rabbi David Joel, circa 1878, addressed to Rabbi Gedalja Tiktin (Landrabbiner), Breslau. Includes items pertaining to the apprentices Eduard Lewy, 1858, and Jacob Elsner, 1862. The questionnaire, a printed flier, sent by rabbis Markus Horovitz, Jakob Hollander, and Adolf Lewin, has no indication of a response; the preface explains that the data is requested in order to plan a general meeting of rabbis in the Posen province. The letter from Rabbi Joel sets forth a request that, in accord with a certain provision in the testament, the year's distribution of funds should favor the Krotoschin and Kempen communities (of the total five communities who were beneficiaries), since both had been significantly affected by fires; it is filed near copies of letters from the community to the curatorium and to Rabbi Tiktin, with similar content, and a response from the curatorium indicating that the request was denied. One item (notes on an undated sheet laid in with items from 1862) and some signatures in Yiddish. Volume is approximately 1-3/4 inches thick.

 
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BoxFolderTitleDate
8 32 Anschaffung des Ostermehls (Fach 1, Nro. 9, Vol. III)
Passover flour and matzot for distribution to the poor
1859-1874
  

Documents related to court case of Louis Bursch v. Jewish community of Krotoschin, 1874; annual contracts for delivery of Passover flour and matzot; correspondence with contractors; annual lists of recipients; petitions/requests from individuals and organizations; communal minutes/decisions; and announcements of auction of annual contract. Specific topics of decisions include: in 1860, provision of matzot for Jewish soldiers; and, in 1865, a proposal that the community also purchase and distribute wood. One petition, 1862, from Jacob B. Reich, Wartha (Silesia), encloses an attestation of poverty from that municipality. Several petitions are from the Committee for the feeding of Jewish prisoners, in Rawicz. Family names of other petitioners: Cohn, Ehrenfried, Eichel, Feibel, Fiedelmann, Glaser, Guttentag, Herz, Katzenellenbogen, Konert, Ledermann, Leffert, Lewy, Löwe, Mendelsohn, Pittke, Reich, Rothbart, Schneider, Schramm, Spaller, Tisch, and Warschauer. One petitioner is Cantor Joseph Moses (1874). The items related to the court case are bound in at front, in a file cover of attorney Poetsch, who represented the community; they include correspondence from Bursch, printed court notice, Bursch's invoice with list of matzot recipients, communal minutes/decision regarding engagement of attorney Poetsch, draft response to the complaint, and a copy of the contract with Bursch. Holders of contracts besides Bursch include Isaac Ehrenfried and Heinrich Hirsch. Front cover is fragmentary; title from shelf tag.

 
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8 33 Die Unterstützung der russischen Juden (Fach 8, Nro. 2)
Aid for Russian Jews, including correspondence with the Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus and the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden
1891-1894, 1898, 1905
  

Donor lists; receipts; correspondence; and minutes/decisions and meeting notices of the community, as well as the local associations it formed. Concerning aid to Russian Jews, 1891-1892: receipts and correspondence from the provincial committee (Provinzial Comité zur Unterstützung der ausgewiesenen russischen Juden; Posener Provinzialkomitee für die russischen Juden); appeal letters from Deutsches Central-Komitee für die russischen Juden; and committee lists, meeting notices, and minutes of the local committee, under leadership of Rabbi Baneth, Adolf Katzenellenbogen, Salomon Daniel, Marcus Levy, and Hermann Cohn. Concerning Verein zur Abwehr des Antisemitismus (Association for Defense Against Anti-Semitism), 1892-1894: a fundraising flier, Berlin, 1893; correspondence with P. Nathan; and minutes and meeting notices of the local branch of the association (in part referred to in combination with the committee to aid Russian Jews), headed by Emil Cohn, Rabbi Baneth, S. Daniel, A. Katzenellenbogen, M. Levy, and H. Cohn; letter from attorney Kirschner, Berlin, 1894; letter and flier from Moderner Verlag, Berlin, 1892, concerning the periodical Die Schmach des Jahrhunderts (ed. Karl Schneidt); member list, circa 1894; and circular, circa November 1894, on question of whether collected funds should go to the said cause, or toward the synagogue renovation. Items in 1905 concern the community's contribution to the Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden, for the purpose of aiding Russian Jews, including donor lists. The single item in 1898 (filed out of order among items for 1894) is a decision about the community's contribution in year 1898/1899 to the Central Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens.

 
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8 34 Aid to Russian Jews: Ephemera
1891
  

Loose documents (5 items). Five notes or cards that accompanied contributions to aid Russian Jews, addressed to community executive chair Adolf Katzenellenbogen, with the envelope in which they were found.

 
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8 35 Satzungen des Unterstützungs-Vereins für jüdische Arme in Krotoschin
Bylaws of the Charitable Society for the Support of Poor Jews in Krotoschin
undated, 1901-1905
  

The original bylaws are undated; at the end are three amendments, the last two of which are dated 1901 and 1905. The stated purpose of the society was the charitable support of poor Jews traveling through Krotoschin, so that they did not otherwise need to appeal to private charity. 5 leaves, including a title page, bound as a booklet.

 
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8 36 Deutsch-Israelitischer Gemeindebund: Kommission zur Erziehung der jüdischen Gebrechlichen, Blinde und Geistesschwache (Fach 18, No. 12)
Correspondence with the Deutsch-Israelitischer Gemeindebund (DIGB), including its Commission for the Education of the Jewish Frail, Blind and Mentally Impaired; and other Jewish charitable organizations and petitioners
1905-1912
  

Correspondence with the DIGB; appeal letters from Jewish organizations and communities; other correspondence; communal decisions; fliers; and one clipping. Includes an inventory of community archival records that were sent to the DIGB, Berlin, with cover letter of the Krotoszyn community and DIGB acknowledgement, both in June 1905. Also from the DIGB: letter, with questionnaires, concerning the blind and mentally disabled; report from Hermann Loewy, Rawitsch, about the DIGB conference (Gemeindetag), 1909, concerning a legislative proposal for the reorganization of Jewish communities in Prussia; and flier (DIGB and Verband der Deutschen Juden), 1906 (circulated 1908), about new school legislation and its implications for Jewish schools. Varied other materials include: Appeals from charitable Jewish associations and institutions in Ahlem/Hannover, Warmbrunn, Limburg an der Lahn, Hamburg, Beelitz, Memel, Bromberg, and Diez an der Lahn. Acknowledgement from the German office of the Alliance Israélite Universelle for dues payment, 1908. Promotional letter from Israelitisches Familienblatt, and clipping of an ad the community placed in the paper, 1908, for a second cantor/shochet. Letter from Vereinigung für das liberale Judentum, with mission statement and bylaws. Request from Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaft des Judentums, Berlin, 1911, for continued support. Letter from Hebrew writer M. Holz, Złoczów, requesting honorarium for copy of his book Hiob. Two inquiries, 1908, about birth certificates: the British consul in Danzig (regarding Eliza Lessa); and Paul Cohn, Berlin (regarding deceased brother Alfred Ludwig Cohn). Appeals for aid from the Jewish communities of Guhrau, 1908, and Bucharest, 1907, for the building of synagogues, and Rogowo, 1908, for debt repayment. Flier advertising esrogim, from M. W. Kaufmann, Leipzig. Meeting notice, 1909, from the association (Verband) of Jewish communities in Posen district. Letter from the Jewish teachers' benevolent fund (Unterstützungskasse) in Silesia and Posen, 1912, concerning contributions for the community's employees.

 
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8 37 Correspondence: Charitable aid
1913, 1919
  

Loose documents (2 items). Includes: Letter, 1913, with envelope, from the Posen provincial fund for aid to poor migrants (Provinzial-Kasse für jüdische Wanderarmenfürsorge), admonishing the community to give aid only to individuals who present a support identification card (Unterstützungsausweiskarte). Letter, 1919, from the Krotoschin town administration, about a distribution of interest from the bequest of Markus Hepner and wife, to be used for aid to the local Jewish poor.

 
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8 38 Religious school curriculum
circa 1882-1895
  

Loose document (1 item). Curriculum of Hebrew school in Krotoschin, by Rabbi Eduard Baneth, who was active in Krotoschin from 1882 to 1895.

 
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8 39 Religionsschule (Fach 13, No. 5)
Religious school
1900-1902
  

Comprises just three items of correspondence, with indications of internal correspondence between the community executive and the representatives' assembly. Includes: letter from Rabbi Berger reporting on the declining state of the school, which at that time had 39 students (both boys and girls). Another item is a report of S. Lewy to the executive about one parent, Hermann Bloch, having failed to pay the fee (Schulbeitrag) for the religious school. The last item is a letter from the Kempen Jewish community requesting a copy of the bylaws (Statut) of the religious school in Krotoschin, with a copy of the reply saying that the Krotoschin community had no statutes for its school. 4 leaves.

 
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8 40 Jewish elementary school: Correspondence of teacher Margolius
1919
  

Loose documents (13 items). Pay order for teacher's salary; correspondence with the government, and others; and school absence reports (Schulversäumnisliste). The government came under Polish control in the course of spring 1919. The two latest items use a Polish-language heading for the district office of the school inspector; otherwise the correspondence is in German. Includes two postcard invitations to meetings of teachers’ associations; a postcard from the Jewish community of Essen, concerning the youth association for war orphans (Judgendspende für Kriegerwaisen); and a government circular from the school inspector detailing administrative rules.

 
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