Mennonites in the Kazun-Secymin area:

memory from a vanished world


7. Local Mapping


The local toponymy reflects the presence of the Mennonites communities. In the maps presented below, we have highlighted the toponyms mentioning Mennonite settlements. The accuracy of these old maps is uncertain and many Mennonite locations remain to be documented and confirmed. Settlements are mentioned with different terms: “Kol.” for Kolonia (colony), “Holl.” or “Hol.” for Holendrzy (Dutch), “Niemiecki” or “Niem” (Germans). These terms refer to the double German and Dutch cultural identity of the Mennonites. With time, maps did not indicate small communities anymore and focused on the main settlements. The local demography was specified with "Polski" (Polish) and "Niemiecki" (German). After WWI, the mentions "Kol" and "Hol." disappeared from the maps. Until 1945, the toponyms “Niemiecki” and "Polski" were still mentioned in Secymin, Wilków, Kazuń and Czᶏstków. Today, the past presence of Mennonite Communities is suggested in the names of four localities: Secymin Polski, Wilków Polski, Kazuń Polski and Czᶏstków Polski. This is an eloquent reminiscence of a vanished world.

This collection of maps below is a work in progress.


1:150 000 - David Gilly (1748-1808) - Gilly, a German civil engineer, locates Mennonite communities with two diifferent toponymical names: “Kol.” (Kolonie), “Hol.” (Holländer). Two large farms are mentioned with the word “Hof”. Kazun Hol./Kazun Pol. and Czosnow Hol./Czosnow Pol differentiate between the Mennonite (Hol) and Polish (Pol) populations. A colony is mentioned in Gać.

Church records from the years 1734-1764 highlight that the Krzyna family is one of the oldest reported in Głusk. 10 generations ago, Adam Krzyna and his son Grzegorz (1743-1805) experienced the arrival of the first Mennonite Communities. Adam was the Great-Great-grandfather of Malgorzata Książyk (born in 1899 in Grochale Górne) and Leon Książyk (born in 1910 in Warsaw).



1:126 000 - This map reflects the confusion related to the double German and Dutch origins of the Mennonite communities. The author mentions both “Hol" Wilkow "and Wilkow "Niemiecki". Two small colonies have settled in Gniewniewice.


1:200 000 - Gottlob Daniel Reymann (1759-1837) - Reymann, a German military cartographer has produced a large series of reference maps. On this one, he mentions Mennonite communities with the term “Holl.” (Holländer). The Mennonite community previously localized in Dębina is now located in Czastków.



1:300 000 - Wojciech Chrzanowski (1793-1861) - As previously observed with Kazun, Wilków is indicated with the two toponyms “Niemiecki” and “Polski”. The Mennonite community established in Secymin is now large enough to be localized in the hamlet of Secyminek “Hol”. The small colonies of Gać, Gnieniewice and Markowszczyzna are not indicated. New Mennonite colonies have been established in the south. Głusk, is not mentioned on this map.


One of the new colonies of the Holendrzy is located in Dᶏbrowa “Hol”. Jan Krzyna (1797-1855), son of Grzegorz, had a property between the hamlets of Dᶏbrówka and Dᶏbrowa. His son Paulin (1844-1921) was born there.


1:200 000 – K. Obuchowski – The toponyms Kazun Niem., Wilków Niemiecki and Secymin Niemiecki indicate the three largest Mennonite communities in the area.



1:100 000 - This document is based on a German map published in 1916. After WWI, the terms “Kol” and “Hol” are not used anymore. The toponyms “Niemiecki” is now limited to Kazun, Wilkow and Secymin. The map indicates “do Secymina Niemckiego” to highlight an administrative subordination.


1:300 000 – Sztabu Generalnego W.P. - Military Institute of Geography, Warszawa.



1:100 000 – Sztabu Generalnego W.P. - Military Institute of Geography, Warszawa.



1:100 000 - The scale highlights the transformation of the landscape on the left bank of the Vistula River.


1:21 000 - Produced by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Red Army from a map edited in 1934.


Kampinoski Park Narodowy - Compass - Today, the toponym “Niemiecki” is not used anymore. However, the past presence of the Mennonite Community is suggested in the names Secymin Polski, Wilków Polski, Kazuń Polski and Czᶏstków Polski.

More Stories

Mennonites in Kazun: memory from a vanished world




Architecture: with a remarkable catalogue




Plautdietsch and Proverbs:

Mennonite Low German Proverbs from Kansas - Isaias J. McCaffery




Key words:

Mennonites Deutsch Kazun

Dutch colonies

Mennonite settlers

Mennonici Kazuń Niemiecki

Kolonizacja Olęderska

Osadnicy olęderskiekie

Holendrzy - Olędrzy

Kazuń Niemiecki

Wilków Niemiecki

Secymin Niemiecki