Map - Street Address - Pre-WWII Kalisz #poland #lodz

Steven Granek

Happy New Year to all -
I’ve just come across the abstract (no scan) in the Polish Archives related to Kalisz.
This translates to "Adler Haim and Tamara. Kalisz, 6 Sierpnia 66 street. [Construction loan]"  and is a record from (translation) "Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, Branch in Łódź"
Tamara was my Grandfather Mendel’s sister - married to Chaim Adler.  I have a photo of them with the whole European family (most of whom disappeared with (so far) no trace) at her home in Kalisz on some Purim - likely in the 1930s. I suspect at this very address.
I can’t make sense of the address - and I realize that perhaps the entire neighborhood was destroyed in the war and it no longer exists.  Interesting to me that the bank was in Lodz.
First - Am I misreading / misinterpreting anything here?
Second - Any ideas on how to see this address on an older city map?  I have not been able to find (at least online) a pre-war city map of Kalisz.  And cannot make sense of this address on any current map.
Any help is appreciated.  Thanks in advance.
Steve Granek
Columbia, MD USA
MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply privately

Miriam Bulwar David-Hay

Replying publicly because this may be useful to others trying to find old streets or other information about Poland or for that matter any other non-English-speaking country.


A small trick I’ve found extremely useful in trying to find old Polish streets or other details specific to Poland is to go into POLISH Wikipedia and search. You can often find information there that just doesn’t exist in English Wikipedia or other English sites. This is equally true for any other foreign country — for example, searching in French Wikipedia for French streets or other information about France. I then use the automatic translation or copy and paste into Google Translate to see the information in English. (We all know that Google Translate isn’t perfect, but it is good enough for the purpose of understanding a Wikipedia entry in a foreign language.)

In your case, I found the answer almost immediately by searching for Ulica 6 Sierpnia Kalisz in Polish Wikipedia. This took me to an entry showing that the street has been renamed a number of times and since 1990 has been called Zamkowa.

There is a detailed history of the street in the Polish Wikipedia entry should you wish to read further. 

As for your comment about the bank being in Lodz, I recently discovered a similar file for my own great-aunt, whose whereabouts before the war I didn’t know, although I knew she perished in the Holocaust along with her husband and children. I ordered the file from the State Archives in Lodz and it revealed that they lived in Lodz and had a tailoring business there in the 1920s, but moved to Kalisz around 1930, where they lived in Ciasna street. This was a revelation to me and led me to further research and the discovery of her previously unknown children’s names, whom I can now commemorate properly. So I  strongly recommend writing to the archives and getting the file to see what it contains. 

Once again, I used Google Translate both to write to the archives in Polish and to understand their reply. The fee for documents is small but unfortunately they do insist on being paid by direct bank transfer, which adds to the cost in bank fees. Still, to me it was worth it.

All the best,

Miriam Bulwar David-Hay,
Raanana, Israel.

Professional journalist, writer, editor, proofreader.
Professional translator (Hebrew/Yiddish to English).
Certified guide, Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum.
Email: miriambdh@...

Researching: BULWA/BULWAR (Rawa Mazowiecka, Lodz, Paris); FRENKIEL/FRENKEL, FERLIPTER/VERLIEBTER (Belz); KALUSZYNER, KUSMIERSKI, KASZKIET, KUZKA, JABLONKA, RZETELNY, WROBEL (Kaluszyn, Lodz); KRYSKA/KRYSZKA, CHABIELSKI/HABELSKI (Sieradz, Lodz); LICHTENSZTAJN (Kiernozia, Wyszogrod, Lodz); ROZENBERG (Przedborz, Lodz); WAKS (Nowe Miasto nad Pilica, Lodz); PELCMAN, STORCZ (Rawa Mazowiecka); SOBEL (Paris); SAPIR/SZAFIR (Wyszogrod).  

Steven Granek

I have privately responded to Miriam (Thank you!!)

In following her advice, I came across something that I though would be useful to others as an add to her great tip.

When Google translates - it does not distinguish a proper name - like a street name.  So, the street name "Sierpnia" became "August".  I kept noticing this in my searches.. "What's this 'August'?'. And as a result, I kept failing to find what Miriam had found. However, since she told me about Zamkowa, and my search did present that as potential page, I scoured it that page.  And suddenly I saw (in the English translation): BOLD UNDERLINES ARE MINE

Subsequent changes to the name of the street took place in 1934, when it received the name on August 6 from the date of its departure from Krakowin 1914 of the First Cadre Company and in 1948 when it was renamed General Świerczewski . The current name - Zamkowa - was given to the street in 1990 to commemorate the fact that the Royal Castle was rising at its end from the 13th century to 1803 .”

So - as she noted - watch out that you don't get tripped up by the translation.

And good luck to all. Great tip from Miriam!