Polska / małopolskie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Sites of martyrdom||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||małopolskie / krakowskie (before 1939)|
|County:||oświęcimski / bielski (before 1939)|
|Community:||Kęty / Kęty (before 1939)|
|Other names:||Kenti [j. jidysz]; קאנטי [j. hebrajski]; Kenty [j. niemiecki]|
Kęty – miasto położone w południowej Polsce, w województwie małopolskim, w powiecie oświęcimskim. Odległe 18 km na południe od Oświęcimia, 85 km na południowy zachód od Krakowa, 329 km na południowy zachód od Warszawy. Leży w dolinie rzeki Soły.
First mention of Jews living in Kęty dates back to 1863. Sixty-six Jews lived in the town in 1871.
In the interwar period, in 1921, 329 Jews inhabited Kęty.
The earliest settlement of Kęty was founded around 1200. The earliest mention of the settlement is from 1238 and concerns a confirmation of the Benedictine monastery in Staniątki being granted to the village of Kanthi. In 1260, the monastery granted Kęty, along with Czeladź, to Duke Władysław Opolski. In 1277, Kęty was granted municipal rights under Lwówek law. At the same time, Duke Władysław gave a number of privileges to its administrator (Polish: wójt) and townspeople. When Władysław Opolski died in 1281, his domain was split up between his three sons. Kęty and Oświęcim and the surrounding land came under the rule of Mieszko I, the Duke of Cieszyn. In 1317, an independent Duchy of Oświęcim was established by Duke Władysław. Ten years later, another Duke of Oświęcim, Jan Scholastyk, paid feudal homage to John of Bohemia.
In 1340, Kęty was a town with 300 residents. In 1368, King Kazimierz Wielki granted the merchants of Kęty the so-called salt statutes, that is, the right to deliver salt in hundredweights. In 1391, the town was granted Magdeburg law, which was more favorable that the previous law. This meant incorporation of the town in a wider area and marking the town square and streets according to a grid pattern. The townspeople were exempted from paying a fee for transported goods on a local toll road. In addition, a customs house was opened.
The first mention of a school in Kęty is from 1446. Just a few years later, a plague struck the town, causing partial depopulation and impoverishment of the people. In 1457, Janusz, the Duke of Oświęcim, sold Kęty and Oświęcim to the King of Poland, Kazimierz Jagiellończyk. The price was 50 thousand Prague grivnas (measure of weight, ca. 250 g). As a result, Kęty became a royal town.
In the first decade of the 16th century, a long-lasting conflict over salt trade between Kęty and its competitor Oświęcim came to a head. The two warring cities appealed to King Zygmunt I Stary, who ruled in favor of Kęty. In 1519, the same monarch established the third fair in the town. It fell on the day of St Catherine, that is on 25 November. The other two fairs, which were also confirmed by the king, fell on 13 July, the feast day of St. Margaret, and on 14 September, the feast of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross. He approved the right to a weekly market and exempt