Polska / dolnośląskie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Sites of martyrdom||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||dolnośląskie / inne (before 1939)|
|County:||Legnicki / Liegnitz (before 1939)|
|Community:||Legnica / Liegnitz (before 1939)|
|Other names:||Liegnitz [j. niemiecki]; לגניצה [j. hebrajski]|
Legnica – district town in southwestern Poland, Dolnośląskie Province. It is located 71 km west of Wrocław, 433 km south-west of Warsaw, by the Kaczawa river and its tributary, the Czarna Woda.
The beginnings of Jewish settlement in Legnica are not completely clear. According to Legnica history researchers, Friedric Emanueul Fischer and Carl Friedrich Stuckardt, Jews settled in Legnica in around 1170. On the other hand, Śląsk Jewry historian, Marcus Brann, found this information very questionable. It was not until 1301 that further documented references confirm the presence of Jews in the town. One of these documents, dated 1314, mentions "a Jewish town" Legnica on "Czarna Woda RIver”. That Jewish settlement encompassed a few streets, starting at the old castle bridge, along ul. Nowa, across the castle square, reaching deep inside the castle garden and then beyond the Głogowska gate. It contained a synagogue, a Jewish school and a cemetery. An 1338 account mentions a Jewish street by the coal market.
The first document on the Jews of Legnica datess from 1447. Elżbieta, Duchess of Legnica, granted the town of Legnica full authority (all rights and courts) which her ancestors had held over the Jewish street situated in front of the castle. In 1447, a dispute arose between Duchess Elżbieta and Jewish bankers, who demanded that she repay a loan. The case resulted in a pogrom of the Jews and the burning down their district.
In the mid-15th century, a series of pogroms aimed at the Jewish population took place in Śląsk as the result of the famous preacher, a Franciscan monk, Jan Kapistran. In the sermon, delivered in 1453 in Wrocław, he accused the Jews of theft and of desecrating the Host. A series of trials followed. Jews from many Śląsk cities found themselves defendants and executions took place in Wrocław, Legnica, and Świdnica. On 5th August 1453, Jews were burned at the stake in Legnica. Jewish property was then confiscated and the 318 Legnicz Jews, who had survived persecution, were then expelled from the town. These events brought an end to the Legnica Jewish community of the Middle Ages.
Jews only returned to the town in the 19th century. The Prussian King's Edict of Tolerance, proclaimed on 1st June 1755, permitted Jews to settle in Legnica, Głogów, and Wrocław. But this only applied t