[Yiddish, Kotsk] - A city in the Lublin
voivodship, in the Lubartow district. Jews settled here in the early
seventeenth century, after Kock had ceased to be property of the Plock
bishops. By the mid-seventeenth century an established Community already
existed, which in 1699 was granted a privilege from the city's owner.
According to the census of 1765, almost 500 Jews were living there, in
62 buildings. During a battle against the Austrians near the city, the
head of the Jewish detachment, Berek Joselewicz, was killed. In 1815,
Kock became part of the Kingdom of Poland, and it was during that period
that the city became home to one of the most influential Chasidic
centers. In 1829, Menachem Mendel Morgenshtern settled there,
establishing a tzaddik dynasty (Chasidim of Kock).
Over the course of the nineteenth century, the
Jewish population grew steadily, as did the proportion of Jews of the
total population. In 1827, there were 645 Jews living there (36% of the
population); in 1856, this figure was 1,500 (56%); in 1897, there were
over 3,000 Jews living there (64%). The majority of the Community's
members were inn-keepers and artisans-tailors, milliners and cobblers.
In 1905, the city's first Jewish trade unions were established here.
Various parties of various orientations were also active in the city,
including Poale Zion, Agudas Isroel and the Bund. In 1913, a yeshiva was
During the interwar period, Jews still
comprised the majority of Kock's population. In 1927, there were 2,500
Jews living in Kock, or 68% of its total residents. They were heavily
represented in the town government. During the Second World War, the
Germans created a ghetto to which Jews were sent from Lubartow, Radzyn
Podlaski, Nowy Dwor, Suwalki and Serock. It had a population of about
3,000. In August 1942, some of them were moved to the ghetto in Parczew;
most were killed in Treblinka. The tzaddik of Kock, Josef Morgenstern,
was among them. The life of the Chasidim of Kock was described by J.
Opatosz in his book, W lasach polskich [In Polish Forests] (1921).