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Polska / śląskie

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


Province:śląskie / inne (before 1939)
County:raciborski / (before 1939)
Community:Racibórz / Ratibor (before 1939)
Other names:Ratiboř [j. czeski]
Ratibor [j. niemiecki]
רטיבור [j. hebrajski]
Рацибуж [j. rosyjski]
50.0962° N / 18.2109° E
50°05'46" N / 18°12'39" E


Adam Marczewski /

Racibórz – a town in southern Poland on the Silesian Highland, capital of Racibórz County. It lies 76 km southwest of Katowice, 367 km southwest of Warsaw. It lies in the Racibórz-Oświęcim Valley, on the Odra river.



Adam Marczewski /

Synagoga w Raciborzu - widok od Pl. Dominikańskiego | własność publiczna

In his book, "Gerschichte der Juden in Schlesien", published in 1896, Marcus Brann writes about the earliest Jewish settlement near Raciborz, dated 1060. This information does not seem to be accurate and has no confirmation in other historical sources. . Even more unrealistic are the folk stories stating that in Stara Wieś, where the church of Saint Nicholas stands, used to be a wooden synagogue. . The presence of Jews in Stara Wieś in the 11th century is probable, because Rarcibórz was then a part of the Great Moravia, where Jews could freely settle. He could travel through the Moravian gate in business and reach Racibórz by the Amber Road..
Priest Augustyn Weltzl, on the other hand, notes that the first Racibórz Jews most probably come from Chazarów, a country on Danube. It was not until several dozen years later that Jews from Germany joined them..The Jews that settled in the area came from the West and brought along Western ideas of the organization of social life and administration. They also brought their tradition, religious rites and the language of Ashkenazi Jews (Hebr. אַשְׁכְּנָזִים, ashkenazi, refers to Germany as the land of their origin).

Marcus Brann writes that in 1367 Jews were living in Raciborz on the street of wool weavers, near the city walls. It is also a place where the first synagogue was . In 1379 Jews were residing in the part of the city located west from the city square. Most of them were traders, some quickly got rich. They started ledning money even to princes. In 1380, two princes of Troppau, Wacław and Przemko, borrowed 117 grzywnas of silver from Solomon of Racibórz. The amount was so great that the city of Troppau had to vouch for the princes that they will return the borrowed sum.
In 1495 there was a synagogue, by Sukiennicza street (currently a corner of Solna and Lecznicza).

In the 15th century, most of the Jews were traders or lent money to the Silesian princes (at that time in the whole of Christian Europe there was a Church ruling against lending money for interest). Some Jews were artisans with small workshops or had shops. Some Jews were artisans with small workshops or had shops. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the Silesian princes issued resolutions, patents, and sejmik bills that regulated the maximum percentage (usury) of lent money. There were severe penalties for not obs


Local history

Adam Marczewski

In the 9th century a settlement defending the Odra crossing was on this site. Gall Anonim made a mention of it in 1108 calling it Ratibor A convenient location at the crossing of trade routes from Bohemia and Moravia to Cracow and Rus contributed to the development of the settlement which was a seat of castellany in the 12th century. From 1172 it was a capital of the Duchy of Opole and Racibórz (to 1532). In about 1217 Ratibor was granted civic rights under Flemish law. Besieged twice in 1241 by Tartars the town was managed to defend itself. A fast development of Ratibor took place in the 13th century when the town became a big trade (salt store houses, the biggest grain markets in Upper Silesia) and craft (cloth manufacture and weaving) center. Racibórz was a stronghold – in 1241 it resisted Tartars’ attacks twice while Cracow did not. In 1299 the town had defence walls with three gates. In the 1st half of the 14th century it was the most populated town in southern Silesia. In 1327 Duke Władysław Bytomski (1277-1352) swore fealty to the Bohemian king and from that moment Ratibor was under the Czech control and shared the political fate of Silesia. After the death of childless Louis II (1506-1526) King of Bohemia and Hungary in 1526, Archduke of Austria Ferdinand I ruled as a King of Bohemia; as a result, Ratibor came under Habsburg rule. During the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) Ratibor was destroyed several times.

From 1742 Ratibor was within Prussia and it was then that the thriving economic development of the town began. Iron mines and ironworks were founded there and iron industry developed. There was also a porcelain factory in Ratibor. The development of the town accelerated the creation of the railway in 1846 which later connected Berlin and Vienna. In 1858 the town had a population of 10 thousand; in 1890 – 20250 and in 1910 – 38508.

Between the wars in 1919-1921 many inhabitants of Ratibor participated in the Silesia uprisings. The results of the plebiscite in 1921 made the town remain within Germany.

During World War II the Germans established several forced labour camps in Ratibor. In March 1945 after heavy fights the town was seized by the Soviet Army. About 80% of buildings was destroyed. Later, the town was incorporated into Poland.



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