Polska / śląskie
|Synagogues, prayer houses and others||Cemeteries||Sites of martyrdom||Judaica in museums||Andere|
|Province:||śląskie / kieleckie (before 1939)|
|County:||zawierciański / olkuski (before 1939)|
|Community:||Pilica / Pilica (before 1939)|
|Other names:||Piltz [j. jidysz]; Pilica [j. niemiecki]|
The town of Pilica belonged to the Małopolska Provence in the past. Nowadays, it is a town situated in Silesia, Zawiercie County, at the source of the Pilica River. From a geographic point of view, it is located in the central part of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland.
Adam Marczewski /
Jews from Pilica were firstly mentioned in 1581 when the bishop of Cracow, Piotr Myszkowski, accused them of insulting the Host.
In 1598, priest Krzysztof Kazimirski forbade the Catholics to keep the Jews in their homes. Stanisław Warszycki, however, removed them from the town after 1636. The old synagogue was transformed into St. Barbara’s church .
Jews returned to Pilica after 1690 when Michał Warszycki, the contemporary owner of the town, let them settle. Thanks to the permission, in 1700 they possessed a synagogue, a cheder, and a bathhouse. Other privileges were given in 1731, 1733, 1753 and 1787, respectively. In 1763, a session of the Council of Four Lands took place. The council was the central body of Jewish authority. In 1765, 506 Jews lived in Pilica.
The town of Pilica went down in history for its role in the battle for independence. That was the reason why the tsar deprived Pilica of its town rights in 1869, despite the fact that the town had a population of 3,357 people at that time, including 2,267 Jews . Three great fires also contributed to the collapse of Pilica.
At the beginning of the 1870s ,C. A. Moes’s paper factory was set up here. It employed 166 people in 1876. The mining industry developed as well.
In 1883, the town of Pilica had a population of 4,604 people, with 220 houses. In 1885, Pilica was described as follows: “…the puddles on the streets never go dry, and all the backyards are as dirty as garbage cans”. In 1886, a fire destroyed the town severely again. Over 200 Jewish families were deprived of roofs over their heads. The majority of them left the town and moved to Zawiercie, Łódź, and even Cracow. In 1897, 1,287 Poles and 2,688 Jews lived here. Most of them lived off craftwork and market trading. Merchants-middlemen from Pilica were well-known outside the town of Pilica.
At the turn of the 19th and 20th century, Pilica was a famous center of Hasidism: “After a famous tzaddik from Góra Kalwaria died, a considerable number of Hasidim started to go on pilgrimages to the rabbi’s brother-in-law. The latter, on the other hand, was Pilica’s rabbi. Rabbi Pinkus Rotenberg was the head of the Jewish synagogue district. Pilica, unlike many other towns, could be proud of a 300-year-old synagogue made of larch wood.
From an administrative point
The first mentions of the Pilica settlement come from 1227. Pilica’s status was promoted as it was the birthplace of Elżbieta Granowska, wife of Władysław Jagiełło. She spent the last years of her life in Pilica: „... Maria Józef of Wesslów Sobieska, widow of Prince Konstantin, son of Jan Jana Sobieski, owned of Pilica and benefactor of the Fransiscan monastery”.
Around 1394, Pilica gained city-status. In the 17th Century, the monastery of the Reformed Fransiscans was established.. In the 18th Century, the city was an important centre of the craft trade. From 1793, Pilica found itself annexed to Prussia. In 1807, it lay within the Warsaw Principality and, from 1815, within the Polish Kingdom. In 1870, the Tsarist authorities removed Pilica’s city-status.
In September 1939, Pilica was occupied by the German army and, in January 1945, by the Soviet army.
In 1994, Pilica regained its city-status.