thrale & thrall family history

Raczki, Suwalki County, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland


Tree: UK Thrale family

Raczki ראַצק

Raczki and Suwalk are in the far North-East of Poland. About 20 miles from Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. Raczki is a village on the periphery of Suwalk.

Jews arrived in the 1700s as craftspeople and traders. They lived in surrounding villages because they were initially not allowed to live in Suwalk. In 1797 a new Prussian law required every Jew to carry identification documents; adopt surnames; marry Jews not resident in the area. A Jewish merchant without a permit - of which there were fewer permits than traders - would lose his residence as well as the right to trade. Teachers were required to speak only in German or Polish. A tax on ritual Shechita slaughter was imposed.

The growth in 18th C Jewish population in Suwalk, arose from Russian immigration to avoid the 25-year military draft. When Poland extended military draft to include Jews in 1843, many Suwalki Jews emigrated. From 1875, 25 Suwalk Jewish families a week were emigrating to US, South Africa, UK, France, Warsaw, Hamburg, Odessa and Hungary. At the end of 1867, Aaron Shmuel Lieberman, editor of the first Jewish socialist Hebrew newspaper, Hol-Emes (The Truth), arrived a hotbed of Bundist activity.

The Jews of Suwalk were the very first members of the Hibat Tsiyon movement. The first Suwalkers made Aliyah in about 1840. David Gordon, wrote to the Suwalkers “you are the first of the Diaspora Jews”, who do not come to beg donations for the Land of Israel but, who yourselves, go to carry out the idea”. In fact so many Suwalkers emigrated that there was a Suwalker synagogue and newspaper in New York and London too.

There was a minor pogrom during WW1 due to rumours that Jews were hoarding food, and many Jews were expelled in 1915 due to rumours that they were spies, during a period of an argument of ownership of Suwalk by Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Germany. After WWI the new Polish state-imposed Jewish attendance quotas on schools that were less than the population and separate Jewish schools received no state funding. The last Rabbi of Raczki was sent to Siberia and died of malnutrition after refusing to eat non-kosher food.

Jewish pogroms also occurred in 1920 & 1936. In 1938 the Jews of Suwalk took in many of the 20,000 Jews of Zbonszyn – that Hitler had chased out of Germany. Soon after the Jews of Suwalk were themselves driven out by Nazis. The Russian and Lithuanian border remained closed. Some managed to cross the border illegally, but many did not and died as a result. The remainder was subject to transportation to concentration camps. The leader of the Auschwitz Sonderkommando uprising was Zalman Gradovsky from Suwalk. Of the estimated 17,000 Jews of Suwalk and environs, about 350 survived. Those that returned soon fled post-war Polish anti-semitism.

In the mid-1980's some Israeli's of Suwalk origin returned and constructed two walls made of fragments of smashed Suwalk Jewish gravestones. Just one Jewish family remained In Suwalk.

Reference -

Location : Latitude: 53.9888675, Longitude: 22.782909399999994


Matches 1 to 1 of 1

   Last Name, Given Name(s)    Birth    Person ID   Tree 
1 Franck, Abraham  6 Mar 1829Raczki, Suwalki County, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland I1600 UK Thrale family