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Legnica

Polska / dolnośląskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere

Summary

Province:dolnośląskie / inne (before 1939)
County:Legnicki / Liegnitz (before 1939)
Community:Legnica / Liegnitz (before 1939)
Other names:dawniej Lignica; Liegnitz [j.niemiecki]
Lehnice [j.czeski]
 
GPS:
51.2072° N / 16.1580° E
51°12'26" N / 16°09'28" E

Location

wojciech wojtasiak

Legnica is a urban poviat and the seat of Legnica county, in Lower Silesia Province. It is situated on the Legnicka Plain, on the Kaczawa River and its left tributary – the Czarna Woda River.
 

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History

Tamara Włodarczyk /

The beginnings of the Jewish settlement in Legnica are not completely clear. According to Friedric Emanueul Fischer and Carl Friedrich Stuckardt, Jews settled in Legnica around 1170. On the other hand, historian of Silesian Jews, Marcus Brann, found this information very questionable. It was not until 1301 that further documented references confirming the presence of Jews in the town were made. In 1314, one of the documents mentioned "a Jewish town" located near Legnica, on the "River Czarna Woda”. That Jewish settlement occupied a few streets, starting at the old castle bridge, then going along Nowa Street across the castle yard, and reaching deep inside the castle garden and beyond the Głogowska gate. It had a synagogue, a Jewish school and a cemetery. An account of 1339 mentions a Jewish street by the coal market.

The first document on the Jews of Legnica comes from 1447. Elżbieta, Duchess of Legnica, granted to the town of Legnica the entire authority (all rights and courts) that her ancestors had had over the Jewish street, which was situated in front of the castle. In 1447, a dispute arose between Duchess Elżbieta and Jewish bankers, who demanded that she returned a loan. The case resulted in a pogrom of the Jews and burning down their district. In the mid-15th century, a series of pogroms of the Jewish population took place in Silesia through the activity of the famous preacher, a Franciscan monk, Jan Kapistran. In the sermon given in 1453 in Wrocław he accused the Jews of theft and desecration of the Host. It entailed a series of trials. Jews from many Silesian cities became defendants, while executions took place in Wrocław, Legnica, and Świdnica. On 5 August 1453, Jews were burnt at the stake in Legnica. Then, Jewish property was confiscated, and 318 Jews of Legnica who survived persecutions were expelled from the town. These events brought an end to the Jewish community of Legnica.

Jews returned to the town as late as the 19th century. The Edict of Tolerance issued by the Prussian king on 1 June 1755 allowed Jews to settle in Legnica, Głogów, and Wrocław, but it only pertained to well-off individuals who had at least 1,000 ducats, while their wives and children were not included. Jews did not start to settle in Legnica until 1812 when the next e

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