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Polska / opolskie

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Province:opolskie / inne (before 1939)
County:kędzierzyńsko-kozielski / Kosel (before 1939)
Community:Kędzierzyn-Koźle / Kosel (before 1939)
Other names:Kandrzin-Cosel [j. niemiecki]
50.3496° N / 18.2255° E
50°20'58" N / 18°13'31" E


Adam Marczewski

The town Kedzierzyn-Kozle is a district seat in the Opole Province. It is located in the south – east part of the Opole Province, in the central part of Raciborski Valley, on the Odra River and its right bank tributary- the Klodnica, as well as on the Gliwice Canal.



Adam Marczewski

Jedna z widokówek Koźla | nieznany - pocztówka

Jews began to settle in Kozle before 1373. They usually came from the West and brought with them Western influences on social and political life. They also introduced new customs, religious traditions and the language of Ashkenazi Jews. The Hebrew word אַשְׁכְּנָזִים, i.e. Ashkenazi refers to Germany as the country from which they came.

From the beginning of the second half of the 14th century comes an interesting record of Duke Konrad II from Oleśnica who used violence to steal money from a Jewish woman from Koźle. In conseuence, in 1356 the Duke of Cieszyn, Przemysław, sued the Duke of Oleśnica and Koźle. The investigation indicated that the stolen money belonged to a Jew from Pyskowiece, which was subject to the Duke of Cieszyn. .

In the 15th century, the majority of the Jews earned their money from trade and giving loans to the Silesian dukes. At these times in all Christian Europe there was a canonical ban on interest rates from financial loans. Some Jews ran small shops and workshops. The most famous Jew was Abraham from Koźle, who at the beginning of the 15th century had a financial business in Trzebnica .

At the beginning of 16th century competition between Jewish and Christian merchants intensified in Silesia. Jewish wealth caused increasing discontent and tension among townsmen. They filed numerous complaints against Silesian Jews to the tsarist authorities in Vienna. The situation made the general alderman of Silesia, Wrocław Bishop Jakub von Salza, turn to the king of Hungary and Bohemia with a request to issue an edict on the expulsion of Jews from Duchy of Opole and Racibórz.
In 1559 Emperor Ferdinand I Habsburg issued an edict ordering all Jews to leave the Habsburg’s hereditary lands, including Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. From that moment the Jews were officially not allowed to settle down in Silesia. In reality the edict was not commonly obeyed. Still, the Jews could settle in indicated enclaves such as Głogów and Biała Prudnicka in Silesia and Osobłóda in Opawa Silesia .
In this way the edict embraced also Kozle and the nearby villages. This edict blocked the Jews’ efforts to settle down in Kozle after the plague epidemic from 1559.

Life within the Jewish community of Opole-Racibórz area under the Habsburg rule in 16th c., was regulated in 1561 by the so called &l


Local history

Adam Marczewski /

Port na Odrze w Koźlu | nieznany - pocztówka

The first source information about a fortified settlement Kosle comes from the Gall Anonim’s Chronicle (written in the years 1112-1116). The settlement must have existed earlier, as in 1106 it was destroyed by a fire. The town’s favourable location at the intersection of the trade routes from Prague and Opawa to Bytom, Wrocław and Kraków positively influenced its economic development. Around 1281, Koźle was granted town rights under the German law. The following villages developed in the neighbourhood: Kędzierzyn (founded in 1283), Kłodnica (founded in 1303) and Sławięcice (founded in 1245, gained temporary town rights in 1260). In the 1280s, the Duchy of Opole was divided and Koźle with the neighbouring villages became part of the Duchy of Bytom and Koźle.

In 1327, Duke Władysław from Bytom paid a liege homage to the King of Bohemia, and as a result Koźle passed under Czech rule and shared the political fate of Silesia. In 1526, the King of Bohemia and Hungary Ludwik II Jagiellończyk died without an heir, and as a consequence the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Habsburg succeeded to the throne of Bohemia. After the death of Jan II Dobry, the last duke of the Piast dynasty, the land of Koźle became part of the Habsburg monarchy in 1532. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), in 1642, the Swedish army invaded and completely destroyed Koźle, which was not able to recover from the economic downfall until the 18th century. In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession, the Prussian army occupied Koźle, which was subsequently incorporated into Prussia in 1742. The town’s name was changed to Cosel and almost immediately the construction of big defence fortifications began, which created the Cosel Fortress. In 1787, there were 1,710 inhabitants and 1,300 military men in the town.

In the years 1792-1821, the Kłodnicki Canal was built, which connected the Odra River (in the area of Koźle) with the industrial district of Zabrze and Gliwice. The construction of the canal stimulated the economic development of the nearby villages, above all that of Sławięcice and Blachownia. In 1807, the Cosel fortress was besieged in vain by Napoleon’s Army. From 1819, the Koźle county belonged to the Regierungsbezirk Poland in Silesia Province of Prussia.

The year 1846 was the turning point in the history of the whole region. It was then that the r






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