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Polska / śląskie

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Province:śląskie / inne (before 1939)
County:gliwicki / gliwicki (before 1939)
Community:Gliwice / Gleiwitz (before 1939)
Other names:Gleiwitz [j. niemiecki]; גליביצה [j. hebrajski]; גליויץ [jidysz]
50.2944° N / 18.6712° E
50°17'39" N / 18°40'16" E


Adam Marczewski

Gliwice – town in southern Poland, Śląskie Province, Gliwicki District. It is located 29 km west of Katowice, 316 km south-west of Warsaw. It is situated in the Silesian Upland, by the Kłodnica river, its right tributary, the Bytomka, and the Gliwice Canal.



Adam Marczewski /

Dokument tolerancyjny, 1728/83 | nieznany

The beginning of Jewish settlement in Gliwice is not well documented. The first Jews probably lived in the city already in the Middle Ages. Indirect evidence is the existence of a street called Judengasse (later Judenstrasse) at that time; it was located in the area of the Potato Market (Kartoffelmarkt) . They undoubtedly had to leave Gliwice after the announcement of the de non tolerandis Judaeis privilege for the city in 1587. This privilege was connected with the confirmation of earlier important imperial edicts by Emperor Rudolf II in 1582-1584; they had ordered the Jews to leave the Habsburg hereditary lands, except for specially designated enclaves. However, it is not known for how long this privilege of intolerance was in force in Gliwice.

As a result of the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), many Silesian towns were depopulated. Aiming to improve the condition of state finances, in 1627 Emperor Ferdinand mitigated the policy regarding Jews and issued an edict allowing them to resettle after paying a special contribution of 40 thousand guilders. The imperial edict allowed Jews to engage in trade and craft under certain conditions, and only a separate group of Jews was privileged – the so-called court Jews (German: Hofjuden). The Emperor also allowed them to lease the collection of duties and taxes. They could also buy and own houses . According to the Peace of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years' War (concluded on 24.10.1648) landowners could decide whether to permit Jewish settlement. The Peace also affected the lands of Upper Silesia . A certain Jew probably used this privilege to lease a city tavern in Gliwice in the mid-seventeenth century .

The earliest recorded mentions of the presence of Jews in Gliwice date back to 1698. On 01.05.1698 a local priest Fröhlich baptised an 18-year-old Jewish girl and gave her the following names: Anna Maria Renata. She was a daughter of the lessee of a city tavern – Enoch – and his wife Magdalena. Her godfather was Baron Bernhard von Welczeck .

In May 1713 Emperor Charles VI issued the edict of toleration (German: Toleranzpatent), which allowed Jews to settle in Silesia after paying a special tolerance tax . In 1715 Jews were granted the privilege to run inns in Gliwice. Solomon Loebel came to the city in 1715 or 1717 and leased


Local history

Adam Marczewski

Rynek w Gliwicach, 1900 | nieznany

The first mention about the settlement dates back to the end of the 13th century. Gliwice received the city rights before 1276. . It had an advantageous location at the crossing of two important trade routes– one joining Krakow with Wroclaw, the second; so called Amber Route, leading from the south of Europe to the Baltic Sea. It was the location that influenced development. In 1327, Prince Władysław Bytomski (1277-1352) rendered homeage to the Bohemian king and since then, Gliwice came under Bohemian sovereignty, sharing the political fait of Silesia. In 1431, the Hussites took over Gliwice, changing it into one of their centers. . The town’s ramparts were constructed during that time. Louis II Jagiellon (1506-1526), King of Hungary and Bohemia, died in 1526, without issue, thus the Bohemian throne was given to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, from the Habsburg dynasty. Gliwice came under the rule of the Habsburg dynasty, during those times, a brewery, hop trade and clothing trade developed. In successive fires of 1711, 1730 and 1735, the brewery burnt down and, as a result, this lucrative branch declined. In 1711, local clothing trade collapsed due to the custom war between Prussia and Austria. Since 1742, Gliwice belonged to the Prussian state and was named “Gleiwitz”. Prussian authorities developed and modified old trade routes and means of transportation. Between 1792 and 1804, the Kłodnica Canal was constructed, in order to transport coal to the Odra River. The coal from Gliwice was cheaper than the English one and took over the Berlin market. In 1796, state owned steel mill was opened (Huta Królewska „Gliwice”); it became famous all over Europe, not only for its artistic casts, but also for its armament production. In 1845, a railway connection between Opole and Wroclaw was established. In 1848, a new steel mill “Hermina” (presently “Łabędy”) was opened. Good economic situation influenced town’s rapid development. In 1871, there were 13, 130 inhabitants, while in 1914 the amount rose up to 70, 160. . During the IWW, the main industry, supporting the economy was armaments production, however some plants were closed and the unemployment increased.
In the inter war period, the city of Gleiwitz, as a result of 1921referendum, remained within the German borders. In 1938, the construction of th






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