Poland

Osjakow

Osjakow is a small village in the Lodz Voivodeship, situated by the truck road no 8 from Wielun to Piotrkow Trybunalski. Due to its location by the Warta River, Osjakow is often chosen by canoeists to rest in. It is also one of anglers’ favourite places.

 

Osjakow TOURISM

Osjakow neighbourhood is one of the most sylvan in the Voivodeship. Especially attractive are pine forests by the Warta River and Osjakow nature and landscape protected area, which is considered a bird reserve. Plant species are also very diversified; there are more than a thousand vascular plant species in Osjakow. In terms of tourist values, a very interesting place is a water trail leading from Dzialoszyn, through Osjakow, to Konopnica, ideal for canoeing trips. Worth mentioning is the fact that these beautiful areas occurred in film adaptation of Nad Niemnem (English: By the Niemen River) novel by Eliza Orzeszkowa. In order to commemorate this event, a memorial with the film frame was erected here. Osjakow is valued not only by nature lovers, but also by history enthusiasts. Due to its colourful history, the town draws in hundreds of people interested in exploring the past. Worth visiting are: Neo-Gothic St. Jadwiga Church with a Late-Gothic font, a synagogue and a statue devoted to the Holocaust victims among others.  

GEOGRAPHY

Osjakow is a former town and a current village and a commune capital located in the Wielun county and the Lodz Voivodeship. It lies on the right bank of the Warta, in the area of the Warta Natural Park. At present, Osjakow is populated by 1.220 people.  

HISTORY

The first records about Osjakow come from 1299, and about its inhabitants only from the end of the 15th century. It obtained the town rights before 1446. Osjakow’s location by the Warta and near the road that connected Wielun with Szczercow made the village quickly develop into the settlement. However, it has never become a significant town. As a result of 1750 fire, Osjakow’s development was stopped, and obtained town rights it lost in 1793. While governed by Soviets, it experienced a great poverty, was backward and stuck in stagnation. Even its attractive situation did not influence the development of the region. For many years Osjakow had been claimed to be a village, even though its inhabitants were not farmers but traders and craftsmen. In 1909 Jews comprised more than 40% of the whole Osjakow population. A great event for the village was creating a volunteer fire brigade in 1902. Mass fires many times stalked Osjakow and the neighbouring villages. In Osjakow itself they took place in 1824, 1888, 1899 and 1901. It was the last fire that made the inhabitants create the fire brigade. During the First World War the commune was divided into two parts; one came under rulings of Austria-Hungary and the second under rulings of Germany. Later a division of Polish Military Organization was formed in Osjakow. After gaining independence Wielun county and Radoszewice commune returned to their former boarders. Because of great war desolations, long-lasting economic crisis and other fires, there were only tiny changes made in the interwar period. The only effort was erecting a firehouse in 1920-21, which became the main social centre for Osjakow inhabitants. Especially tragic for the village occurred the Second World War. On the strength of October 8, 1939 decree, the area of Wielun county was joined to the Third Reich. Hitler’s policy aimed to root out any signs of Polishness. In order to do this, the name Osjakow was changed into the German name Ostwerder, the school and the church were closed and local priests were arrested and sent to concentration camps. Jews were treated equally badly. In the end of 1939 there was a plan of displacing them to General Government. The plan, however, was not fulfilled and in 1941 a creation of ghettos began. A year later all the Jews from Osjakow and from Kielczyglow commune were sent to extermination camps in Chelmno nad Nerem and murdered there. On January 17, 1945 Osjakow was taken by Soviets. German rulings were over.

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