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Yad Vashem The Story of the Jewish Community of Plonsk

Płońsk, Płońsk District, Warsaw Province, Poland

Płońsk shone in four areas: it was the city of the "enlightenment;" of Hovevei Zion and later the Zionists; most of the Jewish residents spoke Hebrew; and it was the cradle of Jewish emigration from Poland and Russia in the First and Second Aliyah… my father's house was the center of these four revelations that unified Płońsk.

David Ben-Gurion, Sefer Płońsk Vehasviva, p. 31

On the eve of WWII, Płońsk, situated on the Plonka River some 60 km northwest of Warsaw, was home to some 5,000 Jews – about half of the city's total population. This was a community of workmen, tradesmen and Torah scholars, Hassidim, Mitnagdim and Zionists.

On 1 September 1939, the Germans invaded Poland, and on 5 September they conquered Płońsk. On 16 December 1942, the last of the Jews of Płońsk were sent to Auschwitz.

Out of all the Jews living in Płońsk when the Germans invaded, only a few dozen survived the Shoah.

This is the story of the community of Płońsk.

Featured Stories from the Exhibition

David Ben-Gurion's early years in Płońsk

Jewish Culture in Płońsk during the inter-war period

Health institutions in the Płońsk Ghetto

Behind the Scenes: Płońsk – Identifying a Town


Further reading

Sefer Płońsk ve-Haseviva Neishtat ve-Sochocin – Yad ve-Zekher le-Khilot she-Nechrevu [The Book of Płońsk and its Surroundings, Neishtat (polish, Nowe-Miasto) and Sochocin – a Memorial to Destroyed Communities], Zemach Shlomo, Halamish Mordekhai, Mann Mendel (edi.), Tel-Aviv 1963.

The online exhibition was made possible through the generous support of:

Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany works to secure compensation and restitution for survivors of the Holocaust.

Since 1951, the Claims Conference - working in partnership with the State of Israel - has negotiated for and distributed payments from Germany, Austria, other governments, and certain industry; recovered unclaimed German Jewish property; and funded programs to assist the neediest Jewish victims of Nazism.