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Polska / śląskie

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Province:śląskie / inne (before 1939)
County:gliwicki / Landkreis Tost-Gleiwitz (before 1939)
Community:Sośnicowice / Kieferstädtel (before 1939)
Other names:Kieferstädtel [j. niemiecki]
50.2723° N / 18.5299° E
50°16'20" N / 18°31'47" E


Andrew Rajcher

The town of Sośnicowice lies in the Gliwice District, in the western part of the Sląsk province. It is situated in the Silesian Uplands, between the Kłodnice and Bierawka rivers.



Adam Marczewski /

Archiwalne zdjęcie cmentarza żydowskiego w Sośnicowicach | Adam Marczewski

Sośnicowice became the subject of interest for Jewish Studies in the late 18th century. In 1776, the Prussian authorities ordered all Jews living on the left bank of Odra to be resettled on the left bank, where they were only allowed to live in villages. After a few years, in September 1779, the authorities changed their decision and ordered all Jews to leave villages and settle in towns. The authorities decided that Jews would inhabit Gliwice. On 17 August 1780, the office in charge of Crown property in Wrocław appointed another town for Jewish settlement, including Tarnowskie Góry, Mysłowice, Mikołów, Lubliniec i Bieruń Stary. On 8 August 1781, Prussian King Fryderyk II ordered to resettle Jews from Upper Silesian villages to towns and allowed them to  be occupied only with trade. The exception were the following villages: Langendorf (Wielowieś), Czieschowa (Cieszowa), Kraskau (Krasków) oraz Städtel. Städtel was mistakingly called  Sośnicowice, meanwhile the village in question was Miejsce. Although Sośnicowice was called Städtel ( even today local inhabitants refer to Sośnicowice as “Miasteczko”(small town), it was only a common name. In an official document, there should be used a full name – Kieferstädtel. Besides, in 1781 Sośnicowice was a town, not a village.

The first reference to Jews in Sośnicowice dates back to 1784. In the cenus of Gliwice Jews, there can be found an adnotation informing that a daughter of Samuel Salomon from Gliwice lives in Sośnicowice. Her name was Rifka and she was born in 1734.  In 1801, we learn that a distillery leaseholder, Itzig Birawer, moved to Sośnicowice.

The Jewish community in Sośnicowice began to grow as the result of the liberalization of Prussian state policy. Between 1812-1847, there were around 340 Jews: 16 craftsmen (5 butchers, 5 shoemakers, 2 glassworkers, a manufacturer of spoons, a carpenter, a potter and a tanner); 22 traders (6 merchants, 2 traders, 8 leather traders, 3 soap traders, a gold and silver trader, a trader of small goods and a stallholder); 7 barkeepers or innkeepers, a farmer, a distillery leaseholder, an administrator, a teacher, a bookseller, 2 comedians and 4 debt collectors. The function of rabbi was performed by a rabbi from Gliwice, and from 1814 – a merchant Aaron Samuel Wisc


Local history

Andrew Rajcher

Sośnicowice w 1932 roku | nieznany

The village of Sośnicowice was founded prior to 1281 . However, the first mention of the settlement dates back to 1305. Perhaps even before 1305,  Sośnicowice attained city-status, however historical documents indicate that this occured in 1526.

During the Thirty Years' War in the 17th Century, the town and its surroundings were looted. 

During the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), the town was occupied and destroyed by the Prussian, Austrian and Russian armies. In the end, Sośnicowice was linked, together with Silesia, to Prussia

In the middle of the 18th Century, iron ore mining commenced in the area and a huge smelter was located in Sośnicowice. In 1768 and1780, the town was destroyed by huge fires. In 1808, Sośnicowice lost its city-status.

During the inter-War period, in 1921, a referendum was conducted in which the inhabitants of Sośnicowice  voted to remain as part of Germany  (555 votes for Germany and 150 votes for Poland). During the Third Silesian Uprising in 1921, the village took the side of Poland. However, the Allies decided that it should remain as part of Germany.

During World War II, in January 1945, Sośnicowice was occupied by the Soviet army. The village was then connected with Poland. In 1996, Sośnicowice regained its city-status.






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