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Polska / śląskie

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


Province:śląskie / śląskie autonomiczne (before 1939)
County:cieszyński / cieszyński (before 1939)
Community:Cieszyn / Cieszyn (before 1939)
Other names:Teschen [j. niemiecki]; צ'שין [j. hebrajski]; טעשין [j. jidysz]
49.7499° N / 18.6355° E
49°44'59" N / 18°38'07" E


Adam Marczewski /

Herb miasta Cieszyn | plik publiczny

Cieszyn - a city with county rights in southern Poland, in the Silesian Province. It lies on the right bank of the Olza River (on the left bank lies the Czech Těšín). It is situated 370 km southwest of Warsaw and 73 southwest of Katowice.



Adam Marczewski

Chasyd idący w międzywojennym Cieszynie. | nieznany

Jews began to settle in Cieszyn in the first half of the 16th century. It might have been connected with the fact that the town was incorporated to the Habsburg Empire. The first historical reference dates back to1531, the year in which a Jew called Jakub bought a house in Cieszyn (he sold the house and left the town the same year) .

The competition between Jewish and Christian merchants increased in Silesia at the beginning of the 16th century. The fact the Jews grew rich caused dissatisfaction and tensions among the village people who filed numerous complaints against the Silesian Jews to the imperial authorities in Vienna.

That was one of the reasons why on 14 September 1559, Emperor Ferdynand I issued an imperial edict which stated the Jews should be expelled from the Habsburg hereditary lands, i.e. the Czech Republic, Moravia and Silesia. From then on, the Jews could not take up official residence in Silesia; yet, the imperial edict was not widely applied. The Jews had separate enclaves in which they could live and these were Głogów and Biała Prudnicka in Silesia and Osobłóda and Opawa Silesia .

The life of the Jewish community in the Cieszyn borough under the Habsburg control in the 16th century was regulated by so-called land regulations, enacted in 1561, which were lists of common and state laws and resolutions of the local government councils of Silesian duchies. They contained a separate chapter entitled “Von Juden”, which defined the law of settlement on Habsburg lands and set loans given on interset by the Jews to lords and peasants, as well as other things.

Cieszyn Duke Wacław Adam (reigned 1579-1617) did not abide by all the imperial edicts and often used the services of Jewish musicians and had a court glazier of Jewish origin called Markus. The duke awarded Markus for his faithful service by issuing, in 1575, a privilege that permitted him to buy a house in the town. Markus, however, went in debt and the town council sold his house in 1578.

In the years 1582-1584, Emperor Rudolf II confirmed the previous imperial edict that said the Jews had to leave the Habsburg hereditary lands, excluding specially separated enclaves.

The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) led to the depopulation of many Silesian towns and cities. Aiming at improving the financi


Local history

Cieszyn ok. 1640 r. - miedzioryt Meriana | własność publiczna

In the 8th-9th centuries there was a Slavic settlement located here. The first notes of Cieszyn as a castellan’s property data back to 1158. Cieszyn was granted a charter by 1284. Since 1291 the town was under the Czech rule and consequently shared the same political fate as the whole Cieszyn Silesia.

During WWII in January of 1945 the town was occupied by the Soviets. Then the town was divided into two parts: Poish and Czech.


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