|Town rights||before 1505|
|• Mayor||Mariusz Kucewicz|
|• Total||23.75 km2 (9.17 sq mi)|
|• Density||300/km2 (780/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code(s)||+48 83|
Łosice ([wɔˈɕit͡sɛ] (listen); Yiddish: לאָשיץ Loshitz) is a town in eastern Poland. It is situated in Masovian Voivodeship (since 1999); previously it was in Biała Podlaska Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is currently the seat of Łosice County.
Łosice was first mentioned in 1264 as a medieval settlement from around the 11th – 13th centuries; situated near the village of Dzięcioły. However, the location prevented the town's further development and in the late 15th and early 16th century, the community was moved to Łosice's present location. The first documented history of the town is preserved in the Privileges issued by King Aleksander Jagiellończyk in Radom on May 10, 1505; thus releasing Łosice from under the Ruthenian and Lithuanian city laws, and giving it more progressive Magdeburg rights. Private judiciary was revoked enabling the inhabitants to form a municipal government with mayor and city council. The Privileges allowed also for weekly markets and four fairs a year at a more convenient location; and, proposed the establishment of a town hall.
By 1551, there were two Orthodox churches, and two Roman Catholic churches in Łosice founded and endowed by King Sigismund I. Throughout the 16th century the town enjoyed a period of economic development, with most inhabitants living off trade in leather, furs, and salt; as well as crafts, and a variety of services. According to a 1580 registry, there were 47 carpenters, 32 tailors, 20 bakers, 10 butchers, 7 stove fitters, and 4 blacksmiths in the town, not to mention millers, a locksmith, a goldsmith and a weaver. A near complete destruction of Łosice came about during the Swedish Deluge in 1655-1660. Only in the second half of the 18th century, the town began to gradually recover.
After the Third partition of Poland Łosice fell under Austrian rule. Later, as a result of the Treaty of Vienna in 1815, it came under the rule of the Tsar of Russia. During the November Uprising a Polish battalion under Colonel Raczyński formed in the town with many local residents. Before and during the January Uprising against the Russian rulership, local doctor Władysław Czarkowski led a unit of several hundred conspirators in an attack against the garrisons. After the Uprising's defeat, the invader brought reprisals against the Polish population. Łosice had been deprived of its Roman Catholic parish, and in 1867 lost its civic rights. The process of Russification intensified right until the liberation of Poland.
Between the world wars, there were approximately 2900 Jewish in Łosice, about 70% of its inhabitants. They were living a full life over there, handling with politics, religion, economic, youth groups and everyday life. In 1920, a pogrom took place against the town's Jewish by the local Polish citizens.
On September 12, 1939, the town was taken over by the Germans, but shortly thereafter it was transferred to the Red Army. In the wake of the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement, the town returned to German control, and they began to rob and murder Jews. The Judenrat that has been established in the town in early 1940, headed by Gershon Levin, ordered hundreds of Jewish workers to be sent to forced labor in labor camps. Later, many Jews from the surrounding settlements were brought into the town. In December 1940, the Jews of the town were assembled in the ghetto where other Jews were brought. Jews were executed from time to time. payments were demanded from the Jews. In May 1942, the number of inhabitants of the Losice ghetto reached to 6,800.
On August 22, 1942, SS men and Ukrainian policemen raided the ghetto in the town and marched its Jewish inhabitants to Shedlitz, killing about 1,000 people on the way, and the remaining 5,500 Jews were loaded onto freight cars and sent to the Treblinka extermination camp. The 300 Jewish who remained at Losice were sent to their death on November 27, 1942.Just a few Jewish survived the death camps of the Nazis and return to the town at 1945, but they were violently expelled by the Polish citizens of the town who took over the Jewish property.
Points of interest
- Neo-Gothic parish church of St. Zygmunt, built between 1906-1909
- Former convent of Communion priests, rebuilt as hospital
- Neo-Gothic cemetery chapel of St. Stanisław from 1845
- Baroque roadside statue erected in 1775
- Monument to Children of Zamojszczyzna who died in Łosice during the Nazi German kidnaping raid of 1943, located at the local cemetery
- Parish church in Niemojki of 1783
The biggest attraction in Łosice is a recreational reservoir, situated near the city center and the train station. In summer, there is a concession there as well as, kayak-and-water-bike rentals. The complex is located near the city park, built at the site of the former Jewish cemetery which was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. The cemetery was established in 1690 under the privilege granted by King Jan III Sobieski. The collection of tombstones put on display, is the largest collection of Jewish sacral art in southern Podlasie region. The oldest stonework dates back to the first half of the 19th century.
Notes and references
- "Rys historyczny Łosic, zabytki i walory przyrodnicze". Miasto i Gmina Łosice, Starostwo Powiatowe. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
- Jewish Community in Łosice on Virtual Shtetl