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Bierutów

Polska / dolnośląskie

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Summary

Province:dolnośląskie / inne (before 1939)
County:oleśnicki / Oels (before 1939)
Community:Bierutów / Bernstadt (before 1939)
Other names:Bernstadt a.d. Weide) [j.niemiecki]
 
GPS:
51.1245° N / 17.5460° E
51°07'28" N / 17°32'45" E

Location

Wojciech Wojtasiak

The town of Bierutów is situated in the Oleśnica county, Lower Silesian Province. It is situated on the Oleśnicka Plain, on the Widawa River.

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History

Martyna Sypniewska /

The first record of Jews living in Bierutowo dates from the 14th century, when the town was within the borders of the Duchy of Oels (Polish: Księstwo Oleśnickie). However, through the long period from the end of the 14th century on, Jewish settlement had not been mentioned]]. Only in the second half of the 17th century did the Jews start to settle permanently in this area. They were encouraged by the local authorities, because their presence was bringing benefits to the economy. In 1686, Markus Elias had leased ducal customs duties, and in 1694 there were three new Jewish tenants.

Soon thereafter, an official Jewish community was formed in the town. However, Jewish merchants did not get a warm welcome from the local tradesmen, who were afraid of competition. At the beginning, Jewish activity was restricted to small trade, peddling, and selling goods at the town market. Still they had the monopoly on the production of alcoholic beverages. All these conditions had the influence on the profile of the Jewish settlement in this area. Most of the Jews stayed in the nearby villages, and the town was inhabited only by ducal tenants and people serving Jewish merchants from Poland, who would stop in Bierutów on their way to Wrocław.

From the second half of the 18th century on, the community of Bierutów was growing mainly because of the immigration of people from the adjacent villages and from Wrocław. Following the incorporation of Bierutów into Prussia, after 1742, a Tolerance Office for Jews was established in the town for the needs of part of Oleśnica county. In 1751, 10 Jews belonged to this organisation, 7 of them lived in nearby villages, and 3 of them within the town.

In 1722, the town had only four Jewish families, but in 1761 there were twelve of them. Towards the end of the 18th century (1785), 20 Jewish families lived in Bierutów (that is 104 people). At the beginning of the 19th century, the total number of Jewish families was 43. As shown in the records, in 1825 there lived 119 Jews here, in 1843 –121, in 1849 – 204, in 1871 – 145, in 1880 – 211,  in 1907 – 116, and in 1924 – 80. ]]. The same archives prove that from the beginning of the 20th century onwards, Jewish population started to leave the town. 

At the beginning, Jews in B

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Local history

Wojciech Wojtasiak

The oldest mentions of the trade settlement Fürstenwald come from 1214. In 1266, the town of Fürstenwald was granted the municipal charter. Its advantageous position by the trade route from Wrocław to Kluczbork stimulated the town’s development. Since 1329, the town was under Czech rule, and its political situation resembled that of Silesia. In the 16th century, the town changed its name to Bieruthow. Since 1526, it belonged to the House of Habsburg. Since 1742 it was part of Prussia. It was when the town changed its name to Bernstadt. In the 18th century, the textile trade began to develop.

During WWII, Bernstadt was captured by the Soviet Army in January 1945. After the war, the town’s name was changed to Bierutów.
 

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