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Polska / opolskie

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Province:opolskie / inne (before 1939)
County:krapkowicki / Landkreis Oppeln (before 1939)
Community:Krapkowice / Krappitz (before 1939)
Other names:Krappitz [j. niemiecki]
50.4744° N / 17.9668° E
50°28'27" N / 17°58'00" E


Adam Marczewski

Krapkowice is a district seat in the Opole Province. It is located at the estuary of the Osobloga River into the Odra River, on the left bank of the Odra, on a hill built of limestone, on the northern edge of the Raciborski Valley.



Adam Marczewski /

Archive picture of Jewish cemetery in Krapkowice | unknown

Jewish settlement in Krapkowice dates back to the beginning of the 16th century. The Jews settling here came from the West and brought Western patterns of the organization of social and political life. They also brought customs, religious rituals as well as the language of the Askhenazi Jews (Hebrew: אַשְׁכְּנָזִים, the word "Askhenazi" refers to Germany, the country they were coming from).

At the beginning of the 16th century, the competition between Jewish and Christian traders in Silesia grew stronger. The Jews were growing wealthy, which caused an increasing discontent and tensions among townsmen, who filed numerous complaints concerning the Silesian Jews to the tsarist authorities in Vienna.
The documents from 1540 mention that that year the townsmen and traders from Krapkowice, making use of an unfavorable atmosphere, demanded the removal of Jews from the town. However, margrave Jerzy Hohenzollern did not allow that, explaining to the townsmen and traders the benefits the Jews brought to the town. After 1453, Jerzy Fryderyk, his son, continued the policy favoring Jews .

On September 14, 1559, Emperor Ferdinand issued an imperial edict expelling the Jews from the heritage lands of the Habsburgs, i.e. Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia among other things. Even though since then the Jews were not officially allowed to live in Silesia, in practice, the Caesar’s edict was not universally observed. Special enclaves where Jews could live were designated. These included Głogów and Biała Prudnicka in Silesia as well as Osobłóda in the Opawy Śląsk . Also, the Jews probably had to leave Pyskowice.

During the first Silesian War in 1742, most of the Silesia was under the rule of the Prussian Kingdom (except for the Cieszyn Silesia and the Duchy of Opawa).
The Silesian Jews welcomed the Prussian rule with big hopes for a better life. A Jewish historian, Rabbi Marcus Brann, described the current mood in the following way: “The oppressed Jews, full of hope and trust, turned to the young Prussian king, who in December entered Silesia; the Jews hoped that a ray of justice and clemency would finally lighten their dark paths of life.” .

At first, the Prussian authorities treated the Silesian Jews with indifference. However, after some time, Casear Friderick II started to limit the freedom of the Jewis


Local history

Adam Marczewski

Krapkowice, XVIII w. | Friedrich Bernhard Werner

The settlement Chrapkowice was first mentioned in 1204. In 1275 the settlement was granted town rights under the Magdeburg Law. The town’s location by important north to south and east to west trade routes had a positive influence on its development. Since 1327 Krapkowice was under Czech rule and shared the political fate of Silesia. The population in 1400 was 1,600 inhabitants. In 1428 the town was plundered by the Hussites. The castle and defense walls with three towers, as well as a wooden bridge over the Odra river, which connected Krapkowice with the nearby town Otmet situated on the river’s right bank, were built at the beginning of the 16th century. In 1534 the town’s population amounted to 400 people. Until 1562 Krapkowice belonged to the Opole Principality, but when the hereditary line of the Opole princes expired, the town passed under Habsburg rule. During the 30 Years War (1618-1648) the town was destroyed. From 1742 Krapkowice belonged to Prussia. The town’s German name was Krappitz. In 1758 there were 628 inhabitants. In 1772 a big fire destroyed the whole town but it was quickly restored and in 1834 the population of Krapkowice increased to 2,157 inhabitants. In 1841, 1852 and 1854 the town again suffered severe damages from fires. After a long period of stagnation the economy of Krapkowice finally began to develop at the end of the 19th century. It was connected to the war contributions France was obliged to pay to Prussia after the war of 1871. Thanks to those funds a new bridge was built over the Odra River in 1887, and a railway line was opened in 1896. In the years 1890-1896 the Odra River was trained and locks which facilitating river navigation were built on it. In 1895 the number of inhabitants amounted to 2,758.
Krapkowice did not suffer from damage during Word War II. In January 1945 the town was occupied by the Soviet Army, then Krapkowice was incorporated into Poland.

The population of Krapkowice is 17,800 inhabitants (2006).




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