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Chorzów (d. Królewska Huta)

Polska / śląskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere


Province:śląskie / śląskie autonomiczne (before 1939)
County:miasto na prawach powiatu / katowicki (before 1939)
Community:Chorzów / Chorzów (before 1939)
Other names:Königshütte bis 1922 [j. niemiecki]; חוז'וב - עד 1934 קרולבסקה הוטה [j. hebrajski]
50.2975° N / 18.9548° E
50°17'51" N / 18°57'17" E


Adam Marczewski /

Chorzów – a city with county rights in southern Poland, in the Silesian Province. It lies 228 km southwest of Warsaw, 9 km northwest of Katowice, by the Rawa river (in the Upper Sileasian urban area).



Adam Marczewski

Yiddish actress Ida Kaminska visits the children and staff of a children's home in Chorzow, Poland | unknown

In 1790, following the orders of the Higher Mining Office in Wrocław, a mining engineer, Salmosn Izaac, worked in the area of the Silesian towns of Zabrze, Chorzów and Ruda Śląska. He was a sworn miner and geologist, searching for new seams of hard coal. Thanks to him, rich seams of coal were discovered between Zaborze and Pawłowo. In Chorzów, a state owned mine called  "König" was established.

The first records of Jews living in Królewska Huta (present Chorzów) date back to 1829. In 1860, there were around 600 Jews living in Chorzów. They were under the jurisdiction of the Bytom Kahal. In 1865, an independent Jewish community was created. It included the Jewish inhabitants of Chorzów, Łagiewniki, Hajduki, Świętochłowice, Nowa Wieś and Lipiny. In 1874, an impressive Reform synagogue was built in Wolności Street.

In the Interwar period, in 1922, Królewska Huta was annexed to Poland. Many German Jews left the city and went to Germany at that time. Polish Jews settled in their place.

In October 1924, a split between the Polish and German Jews took place. The Polish Jews won the elections for community representatives, which the German Jews found outrageous. A group of 70 most influential and wealthy German Jews left the meeting and stopped coming to the synagogue. At that time, Dr Goldschmidt was the Rabbi of Chorzów. After these events, he left the town. Since then, Dr Chaskel Lewin, a rabbi coming from Katowice, led the prayers.

In 1931, there were around 2811 Jews living in the town. After 1933, many German Jews escaping from Nazi persecutions returned to Chorzów.

During World War II, in September 1939, the town was occupied by the German army. In December 1939, the Nazi forced most Jews to leave Chorzów and settle mainly in Dąbrowa Górnicza. Before the end of 1939, the Germans burned and dismantled the synagogue. On June 15, 1940, the majority of Chorzów Jews were deported to Olkusz. Others were taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp .



Local history /

Budynek Poczty w Chorzowie - pocztówka z ok. 1870 r. | Bildarchiv Peter Wittgens

The history of Chorzów dates back to the 13th century, though some sources point to a village called Zversov existing since the 12th century and located where old Chorzów is now (the first mention of the village comes from 1136). Chorzów itself was settled in 1257 under a settlement act issued by duke Władysław of Opole. The document allowed the Polish branch of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre to settle with German law a village called Chareu, and they in turn built a chapel and hospital there. The location was near to an important trade route of the time, which led from Wrocław through Bytom to Kraków.

From 1327 Chorzów found itself under Bohemian rule and shared the political fate of Silesia. At the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries the first stone church was built and dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. The church's dedication is closely tied to the cult of the Holy Sepulchre. From 1526 the village was part of the Habsburg monarchy. The 16th century saw the start of a mining industry in the area, producing silver, lead, and iron ore. A great change happened in 1787, when Ludwik Bojarski, a local parish priest, discovered deposits of coal. This led to the establishment of the Księżna Jadwiga mine (Fürstine Hedwige in German), which belonged to the local parish. Additional coal deposits were found in Chorzów in 1778, and a metallurgy industry was started up. From 1742 the people of Silesia found themselves under Prussian rule (with the exception of Cieszyn Silesia and the Duchy of Opava). In 1799, on the initiative of count Friedrich Wilhelm von Reden, a new village began to grow around the Königshütte foundry (later renamed Huta Kościuszko). In 1810, by royal decree of king Friedrich Wilhelm III, the monastery holdings became the property of the Prussian state. In the early 19th century the first worker colony was set up at what is today Teodora Kalidego street. In 1826-1830 a private colony called Erdmanswille was set up near present-day Wolności street  on the initiative of entrepreneur Erdmann Sarganek. A disruptive factor in the forming of the urban layout was the Król coal mine (German: König), established back in 1791, and later renamed the Prezydent mine (closed in 1993). Although one of the first mine shafts was set up where the centre of town is today, as time





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