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Polska / opolskie

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


Province:opolskie / inne (before 1939)
County:nyski / Neisse (before 1939)
Community:Paczków / Patschkau (before 1939)
Other names:Patschkau [j. niemiecki]
50.4635° N / 17.0051° E
50°27'48" N / 17°00'18" E


Adam Marczewski

The town of Paczków is situated in the Nysa District, in Opole Province. It lies on Przedgórze Sudeckie, by the Nysa Kłodzka River.



Adam Marczewski /

First Jews lived in Paczków as early as the turn of the 14th century. New Jewish settlers brought with them western models of social and political organization of a state. In addition to that, they also imported tradition, religious rites and a language of Ashkenazi Jews (Hebr. אַשְׁכְּנָזִים, the word “Ashkenazi” denotes Germany as a country where they came from.) At the time of settling down in Silesia at the turn of the 14th century Jews were not restricted by any legal regulations. What is more, they were also protected by numerous privileges issued by Silesian dukes, who followed the example of such privileges as the one granted to Jews by Boleslaw the Pious in 1264 [the General Charter of Jewish Liberties, known as the Statute of Kalisz.]

When Silesia got under rule of Czech dukes in 1327, also Silesian Jews adopted Czech jurisdiction.

In the mid-14th century the Black Death epidemics broke out in Silesia, which brought about famine and starvation. The locals, looking for a scapegoat, accused Jews of poisoning wells, which in effect led to the pogrom against Jews in 1349 Paczków. This information clearly proves that Jews must have lived in Paczków back then.

There were a few Jewish families living in the town in 1373. One of the buildings housed a house of prayer. In the 15th century Jewish merchants were granted official trading permit to operate in Paczków. In 1452 one of the streets in the town was called Żydowska [Jewish]

Most Jews in the 15th century occupied themselves with trade and granted loans to Silesian dukes (charging interests on financial loans was then prohibited by Canon law in the whole of Christian Europe.) Some Hebrews ran small craft workshops and shops.
Good financial situation of Jews evoked increasing hatred against them and led to pogroms, whose source was related to economic issues. Kazimierz Bobowski comments on those facts as follows: “Increasing pogroms against Silesian Jews from the 15th century should be related to a growing class disparity in towns. The patriciate of many Silesian towns hoped that pogroms would defuse, only in some degree in the least, dissatisfaction of the poor with economic releations.”

Early in the 16th century competition between Jewish and Christian merchants in Silesia intensified. Finan


Local history

Adam Marczewski /

Panorama Paczkowa, 2007 | Mzopw

The town of Paczków was founded in 1254 on the Flemish law by the Bishop of Wrocław Tomasz I, who wanted Paczków to defend the south-western border of the ecclesiastical Duchy of Nysa and Otmuchów. By the end of the 18th century, a fortified castle was built there.

From 1327, Paczków was under Czech dominium and shared the political fate of whole Silesia. In the mid-14th century, a double-fortified wall was constructed around the town. In 1428, the town was destroyed by the Czech Hussites. In 1507, the Habsburg family took over control of the Duchy of Nysa and Otmuchów. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), the armies of both Sweden and the Empire plundered Paczków. As a result, there were only 100 people living in the town in 1648.

From 1742, the town belonged to Prussia as the majority of the Duchy of Nysa. In 1810, the bankrupted Prussian authorities looking for quick income took over Paczków and other episcopal estates from the Church and included it into the State Treasury. In 1874, a railway connection was established between Nysa and Kamieniec Ząbkowicki, which fostered the local economy.

In May 1945, the Soviet Army occupied Paczków. During the fighting, 15% of the city’s buildings were destroyed. As it was decided in Yalta and Potsdam, the town was incorporated to Poland. The German inhabitants were resettled and Polish settlers and migrants from Eastern Borderlands took their place. In 1950, Paczków belonged to the Opolskie Province. After rebuilding, the town became an important tourist centre thanks to its medieval fortifications. The popular main hiking trail in Sudetes ends here. Since 1999, the town belonges to the Nysa county in Podkarpackie Province.



  • B. Steinborn, Otmuchów. Paczków, Wrocław (1982).



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