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Polska / śląskie

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Province:śląskie / kieleckie (before 1939)
County:będziński / będziński (before 1939)
Community:Czeladź / Czeladź (before 1939)
Other names:Chelodz [jidysz]; צ'לדז [j. hebrajski]; Czeladź [j. niemiecki]
50.3177° N / 19.0711° E
50°19'03" N / 19°04'15" E


Herb miasta Czeladź | Krzysztof Blachnicki

Czeladź is a town located in Będzin County, in Silesia. The town lies in the Silesian Upland, upon the Brynica River.




Adam Marczewski /

In the thirteenth century Czeladź was granted the de non tolerandis Iudeaeis privilege, which made it impossible for Jews to settle there. During the years 1443-1792 Czeladź was part of the Duchy of Siewierz (Księstwo Siewierskie) that was under the rule of Kraków bishops, and Jewish settlement on this territory was virtually impossible. The Jews were then living in Będzin, 4 km away. This situation did not change until the Second Partition of Poland (1793), as a result of which Czeladź fell under the reign of Prussia. Even though Frederick William III of Prussia allowed Jews to trade in the town, he prohibited them from settling there. In 1800 he issued the Regulation concerning the arrangement of Jewry in the Pilica and Siewierz District (Polish: Przepis względem urządzenia żydostwa w cyrkule pilickim i siewierskim), in which he ordered the expulsion of Jews who did not have a permanent place of residence, the listing of all local Jews, to issue passports to them and to give surnames to those Jews who until then had only used their name and the patronymic they had received during their circumcision. Because of these restrictions, until the mid-19th century there had been no reference to the Jewish presence in Czeladź.

In 1815, Czeladź became part of the Kingdom of Poland (Congress Poland), which was subjected to the Russian Empire. Tsarist regulations required that Jews should have a special settlement permit in the border zone and at that time Czeladź was situated in the direct neighbourhood of the Prussian border. Nevertheless, the possibility of trading at the border of Upper Silesia attracted Jewish merchants and peddlers, who would visit borderland villages, selling their merchandise.

Legend names the Szwajger Family as the first Jewish family in Czeladź. They had permission to keep a shop but could not settle in the town. Other sources however say that the first Jewish citizen of Czeladź was Nachum Alter from Wolbrom, known as Nachum Alter Czeladzer or simply the Old Chołtyk (he lived in 6 Rynek Street). In the next years the following families arrived in the town: the Fromers, Szwajcers, Klajners, Bermans, Rechnics, Sztrochlics, and Fiszmans. The first confirmed mention of Jews in Czeladź stems from the year 1835 – a note in the records of the Registry Office of Będzin from 5 May 1835, which confir


Local history

Miłosz Gudra /

Czeladź is the oldest town in the Dąbrowa Basin. The first historical reference to the settlement called Czeladź is from 1228. The limits of the settlement were defined and the most important sites, such as ponds, the bridge over the Brynica River and an inn were all mentioned in a preserved document issued by Kazimierz Opolski. The Tatars burnt down the settlement in 1241. Czeladź was granted town privileges in 1262.

In 1318 the town belonged to the Duchy of Cieszyn and in 1443 along with the entire Duchy of Siewierz it was incorporated into the estates owned by the Kraków bishops. At the beginning of the 16th century, along the preexisting hereditary position of the head of the town (Polish: wójt), a new form of authority appeared and it was the Town Council which was headed by a mayor. A few guilds operated in the town but most of the people made their living by trading and farming. Czeladź was surrounded by fortified walls whose fragments have been preserved to the present day. The Market Place with the building of the Town Hall that towered over the site was the center of the town.]. Czeladź was the center of the Arian movement. On March 9, 1589 in the Town Hall of Czeladź a treaty was signed between Jan Zamoysky and Wilhelm von Rosenberg by virtue of which Archduke Maximilian III of Austria (in 1588 he was defeated by Jan Zamoyski’s troops in the fight of Byczyna) renounced his claim to the Polish throne. On September 6, 1589 the Archduke signed the agreement on the bridge in Czeladź.

In 1655 the Swedes destroyed the town. In 1790 the Duchy of Siewierz was incorporated and, by the same token, Czeladź was annexed to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Two years later, King Stanisław August Poniatowski made Czeladź a free town with a new coat of arms. From 1795 onwards, as a result of the third partition of Poland, the town found itself in the Prussian annexed territory, and from 1807 in the Duchy of Warsaw.

In 1815, following the sessions of the Congress of Vienna, the town was annexed to the Kingdom of Poland under the rule of Czarist Russia. In 1870, the Czarist authorities deprived Czeladź of its town privileges. Hard coal deposits were discovered in the second half of the 19th century and their extraction started in 1879.

During World War One, in 1915, Czeladź was seized by the German troops and it regained its town privile


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