Piotrków Trybunalski was most likely established in the 13th century. The Jewish community in the town was founded later, and can be dated to the 16th century. During the first few hundred years, Jews were not allowed to live within the city walls. They entered Piotrków Trybunalski in order to trade, when the city hosted a session of the Polish Sejm (Parliament), or when a special tribunal of the court (hence the name ‘Trybunalski’) was held.
However before the WW2 Piotrków Jewish community consisted already of 12,000 members (ca 23 % of the city population). They made their living primarily from hundreds of small workshops for clothing and metals, as well as from commerce.
The Nazis created the Ghetto in Piotrków only 38 days after their 1939 Invasion of Poland. It was the first Jewish ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe, founded on October 8, 1939. The deportations to Treblinka, and then to forced-labor camps started in October 1942. By the end of 1943 the Jewish local community perished.
The magnificent synagogue bulding, former Jewish part of town, memorial plaques as well as one of the largest local Jewish cemeteries are the only remnants of the once lively community…
ROUTE: The tour starts in Warsaw with car transfer to Piotrków Trybunalski (140 km = 87 miles), walk around the town, visit to the Jewish cemetery (must be confirmed in advance), former synagogues (now municipal library). During the tour we will discover the history of the local Jewish community and the fate of Piotrków Jews during the Holocaust. Return to Warsaw. Optional lunch possible (not included in the tour fee).
Comments: the entrance to the former synagugues buldings only possible within opening hours of the municipal library.