Zgierz Parish History

Courtesy of Paul Rakow

Zgierz was an important textile manufacturing town near Lodz. The Zgierz Treaty of 30th March 1821 set out favourable conditions for cloth makers to settle in Zgierz, Lodz, Gostynin, Dombie and Przedecz.

This led to the Protestant population of Zgierz growing dramatically in 1821-26 due to the immigration of clothmakers. There were also some agricultural colonies in the area; Dombrowka Hollandry founded in 1788; Swendow Hollandry in 1792; Proboszczewice in 1800; Rossenow and Biala in 1840.

A Lutheran parish was founded in Zgierz in 1824, the first Pastor was Heinrich Bando. The church building was completed in 1826. Pastor Bando served 41 years. He was followed in 1866 by Pastor Ernst Wilhelm Bursche.

In 1842 the Protestant villagers from Biala, Glowa, Wola Branicka, Cyprjanow and Dobra united to buy land for a cemetery in Biala. In 1887 they built a school and prayer-house in Biala. It burnt down in 1911, and was rebuilt. By 1925 the school was taught in the Polish language.

In 1864-1865 the owner of the Glinik estate divided his land, leading to the formation of the new vilages Czaplinek, Janow, Jozefow, Leonardow, Palaestina, Podole, Marianow, Szedlika, Ukraina and Wolyn. The estate owner gave the church 1 morgen of land for a school, and 186 ruten for a cemetery. The church council founded the school and cemetery in Palaestina in 1866. The first teacher was called Kriese. The school in Palaestina burnt down in 1910, it was replaced by a new school built in 1917 in the more centrally located village of Jozefow. This school was still German-Protestant in 1925.

By 1867 there were 6 schools in the parish; three elementary schools in the towns Zgierz, Zabaniec and Grabieniec; and three Cantor schools in the villages Biala, Swendow and Rossenow. The elementary school building in Zgierz was shared 50/50 by the Protestants and the Roman Catholics. Another Protestant school in Proboszczewice burnt down in 1840, and was never rebuilt.

After Pastor Bursch died in 1904 he was replaced by Pastor Karl Serini, who served in Zgierz from 1905-1919. Pastor Serini took up a teaching post in the Protestant Seminary in Warsaw, and was replaced by Pastor Alexander Karl Falzmann, who served in Zgierz from 1920-1939. Soon after the outbreak of World War II Pastor Falzmann was arrested by the Gestapo, and died in Dachau concentration camp in May 1942.

The Protestant church in Zgierz was destroyed by German fire-bombs in the first days of World War II. Now the Protestant church in Zgierz meets in a new church on the edge of the town.

Heinrich Bando (1824-1865)
Ernst Wilhelm Bursche (1865-1904)
Karl Serini (1905-1919)
Alexander Karl Falzmann (1920-1939) Pastor Falzmann was arrested by the Gestapo, and died in Dachau concentration camp.
Alfred Max Zundel (1939-1941)
Eduard Kneifel (1942-1945)

Main source: Eduard Kneifel, "Die evangelischen-augsburgischen Gemeinden in Polen, 1555-1939"


back to top