Pinczow Poland And the Great Old Synagogue Where My Family Worshiped In The 1700’s And Where Many Of Them Perished – World Monuments Fund Restoring Synagogue

I have been sharing my research and have been working with Witold Wrzosinski with the Foundation For Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland. The following is an excerpt from an email from Witold to me:

You have found the grave of Yochanan HaCohen  Fogel, father-in-law of Hersz Wolf Baumwoll and great-grandfather of Nathan Baumwoll. He came from Pinczow and was a Cohen. I would like you to see if we can find any of them or any about them.

My family lived their. Many never left until they were marched to death. I am searching for them now.

The following is from World Monuments Fund about the Pińczów Synagogue in Poland:

Pińczów Synagogue, built at the turn of the 17th century, is the last surviving Jewish monument in the city of Pińczów, once a thriving economic and cultural Jewish center. The synagogue is unusual both for its age as well as its adaptation of a Renaissance architectural style. Inside, large sections of polychromic patterning, attributed to the Jewish painter Jehuda Leib, decorate the synagogue’s main prayer hall and porch. Interior murals, some of which date from the 1600s, are the oldest synagogue fresco paintings in the country. The town of Pińczów, which, for centuries, had benefited from its reputation for ethnic and religious diversity, was largely destroyed by German troops in the fall of 1939. The vast majority of the town’s Jewish population was later killed, many sent to Auschwitz, and much of the community’s cultural heritage destroyed. The synagogue itself was vandalized by Nazi occupation troops, and then damaged in fighting during the final year of the war.

When WMF began work at Pińczów in the spring of 2005, the building showed the affects of years of neglect and defacement. Our conservation efforts focused specifically on the women’s gallery and the kahal room, used for meetings of elders, which house some of the synagogue’s finest wall paintings and which had suffered from years of deterioration. A team of conservationists worked to desalinize and restore wall paintings, remove and replace crumbling plaster sections and joints, and clean the exposed wall underneath. The team also replaced damaged window frames and stone elements, and repaired several of the building’s walls. WMF’s project was completed in 2005. Some of the inscriptions and scrolls found during our work there have supplied valuable new research material for academics studying Jewish history in Poland.

Pińczów Synagogue is an emblem of local history, prosperity and the tragic results of the Holocaust. WMF’s conservation efforts at the synagogue highlight the artistic and cultural triumphs of the Jewish community from the 16th to the early 20th century and also acknowledge the neglect of the site due to the loss of the Jewish community in the aftermath of World War II.. Our work also recognizes the significance of the site to a global audience, as both a historical and artistic monument; our efforts to preserve the synagogue’s wall paintings and interior decorations will ensure the site remains in good condition, enduring even as the Jewish community that once surrounded it has largely disappeared.



The Following is an excerpt from Wikipedia about Pińczów Poland and the fate of the Jews and my family during WWII:

Pińczów was destroyed by Germans in September 1939 (see Polish Defensive War), and almost all Jews, who had accounted for about 70% of the town’s population, were killed or sent to extermination camps. Most Pińczów’s Jews were murdered in the death camp Treblinka. The Jewish cemetery was also destroyed. Some Jews of Pińczów survived the Holocaust by hiding in nearby forests. Some, though not many, were hidden by Polish farmers until the end of the war. The Republic of Pińczów was a short-lived Polish uprising, which took place in July – August 1944. Units of the Home Army and other underground organizations managed to push Germans from the area of app. 1000 km2., which stretched from Pińczów to Działoszyce, and from Nowy Korczyn to Nowe Brzesko. The resistance was very active here, there were two attacks on a local Gestapo prison, in which hundreds of Poles were freed.

It is one of the oldest synagogues in Poland, built in 1594-1609. The designer was probably the Florentian Santi Gucci. During World War II it was vandalized by the Nazi Germans, then damaged during fighting in 1944, and it is inactive since then. From the 1970s it has been restored. 



Click here to read post My Family is a part of “A Genealogical History of the Jews of Pinczow (Poland) in the 18th & 19th Centuries” by Heshel Teitelbaum

Click here to read about the World Monuments Fund bringing back the great Pińczów Synagogue

Ella Burakowski from the book Hidden Gold: A True Story of the Holocaust

Other photographs have been collected by Bruce Baumwoll from the internet.

POL-Pinc-vestibule-window-on-northern-wall-and-fragment-of-vault-post-cons-2002Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609



pinczow01big POL-Pinc-vestibule-painting-on-southern-part-of-vault-and-on-southern-wall-b4-cons-2001Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

pinczow2Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

POL-aaaPinc-vestibule-window-on-northern-wall-and-fragment-of-vault-b4-cons-2001Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

Remnants of the Synagogue in Pinczow Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

pinc-11_0Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

pinc-10_0Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

pinc-09_0Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

pinc-06_0Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

pinc-05_0Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

pinc-04_0Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

pinczowSynagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

Synagogue in Pinczow buillt 1594 - 1609 !!Synagogue in Penczow, Built  1594-1609

Synagogue in Pinczow -------- todaySynagogue in Penczow today

Rabbi Eliezer Finkler of Pinczow and SosnowiecRabbi Eliezer Finkler Of Penczow and Sosnowiec

Pinczow ( daw. kieleckie ) ---świetokrzyskie ------- Poland -old-symagogueporewarPenczow before the war

Nowa Synagoga in Pinczow - buillt 1682Nowa Synagogue in Penczow built in 1682

Pinczow---the Lajbusia Mill in Mirów-------pre warPenczow,  The Lajbusio  Mill 

anna-cyranPenczow  Cemtery Before 1939


Penczow  Cemtery Before 1939

11261665_667405403404681_3538585436177503454_nPenczow Before 1939  – The Jews of Penczow

11260576_667424183402803_5354052220820549633_nPenczow Cemetery   today


Photographs have come from all of the following sources:

Ella Burakowski from the book Hidden Gold: A True Story of the Holocaust
click here to buy Hidden Gold on Amazon

Other photographs have been collected by Bruce Baumwoll from the internet.

20 responses to “Pinczow Poland And the Great Old Synagogue Where My Family Worshiped In The 1700’s And Where Many Of Them Perished – World Monuments Fund Restoring Synagogue


    Am looking for names of Jewish Pinczow residents who survived holocaust.

    Andy Bruziewicz, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

    • Hello,
      I know nothing I am looking for my family,

    • Sarah Rembiszewski

      My mother’s family comes from Pinczow. My grandfather was Juke Cudek Fajnsztat. His whole family lived in Pinczow and Kielce. I am very interested about the issue. Please contact me.
      Sarah Rembiszewski

      • Hi Sarah,
        My family too, I look very forward to speaking with you. Each bit of nformation brings it to life.

        • Sarah Rembiszewski

          I am interested to excahnge information. Sarah Rembiszewski

          • I would love to keep adding to this post for there are families like ours, This was home. Look forward to hearing from you. If you have any photographs of your family or the town please think about sharing them for all to see.

      • Hi Sarah,
        Was thinking perhaps you would like to do a post on my blog about your family and Penczow, We will add to the stories and hopefully more families will see it. Look real forward to hearing from you.
        Oh I really dont know how it has happen. Yet it has. My blog has over 320,000 people who have come to see my stuff and other peoples. Crazy

      • see my postings.

    • my family on both sides are from pinczow.
      father szaja rakowski and mother zlata Rosenberg.
      her family came to Cleveland about 1923. only he(no other except an uncle earlier) when they married in Poland on her visit in 1938. all others to treblika.



        Were you born there too. One of the mysteries in my life is the fact that I was born there but I never lived there. My parents (who both were born there) are both deceased now, and they never touched the subject with me. For some reason they thought to give me the birth there.

        • sorry to say but luckily I was born in Cleveland. had it been in Poland 1940,
          what can one say.
          yours is puzzling.
          I have twice been there looking for ???? only voiceless ghosts. have learned more via internet and youtube and books than from either my parents or visits.

    • my dad was in Cleveland 1938. his remaining family died in Treblinka.his polish family name rakowski. my mom,also from pinczow,married him in Poland enabling his escape, her family name,rosenberg.

  2. Sarah Rembiszewski

    Please notify me on any new info on Pinczow.

  3. my dad changed from Rakowski in 1943 in usa. he and deceased family males were all tailors. lost everyone in Treblinka.
    we lived in Cleveland.

  4. BS”D
    It’s amazing that the prewar photographs survived.
    My father’s OBM family were from Pinczow. As far as he knew no one else survived. We have no photographs at all. I’d like to know if anyone knew the family of Szaja and Brandla Skoczylas, they owned a hardware store. If anyone has any photographs would be much appreciated. My father z”l was Moszek Skoczylas.

  5. Heshel Teitelbaum

    Anyone who wants to know the history of their families in Pinczow prior to WWI, with the possibility of going all the way back to 1700, please feel free to contact me.

    • heshel,include me in your endeavors,please. I was to salt lake city,lds library, but as everthing was in Yiddish, I came away with little.
      would really like more. see my posts for some info re my parents as a beginning.
      you are doing a giant mitzvah,chaver.

    • B.s. ‘d Hi Heshel,
      Yes, I’d like to know about my family in Pińczów before the war : Shaya and Brandla Skoczylas a”h were my grandparents. Please let me know.
      Thanks! Kosher Freilichen Pesach!

  6. Heshel Teitelbaum

    Hi Gerald:

    I would be happy to tell you about your family. Since there were many branches of RAKOWSKIs and ROSENBERGs in Pinczow, I would like to pin your branch down more precisely. So can you tell me the details as far back in time as you know? Since I will be providing you with attachments or charts, it would be more convenient if we corresponded by email, and then after we see how you fit in, you could summarize our progress on this blog.

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