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Polska / śląskie

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


Province:śląskie / kieleckie (before 1939)
County:miasto na prawach powiatu / będziński (before 1939)
Community:Sosnowiec / Sosnowiec (before 1939)
Other names:Sosnovets [j. jidysz]
סאסנאוויץ [j. hebrajski]; Сосновец [j. rosyjski]
50.2855° N / 19.1065° E
50°17'07" N / 19°06'23" E

Location /

Sosnowiec – a city in southern Poland, Silesian Province, a county capital. It is located 7 km northeast of Katowice, 238 km southest of Warsaw. It lies on the Silesian Highland, in the Dąbrowa Basin.



Andrew Rajcher

dzielnica żydowska w Sosnowcu | nieznany

Jewish settlement in Sosnowiec began with the economic development of the region in the middle of the 19th Century. Historical documents record that the first Jew was Abram Blumental who, in 1859, moved from Modrzejow to Sosnowiec. He worked in the city as a tax collector and received permission from the Tsarist government to purchase land next to the customs-house on which he erected the first brick building in Sosnowiec.

In the early 1860’s, more Jews settled in Sosnowiec, setting up homes predominantly in the area around the railway station. The most influential among them were the merchants Wilhelm Bergman and Adolf Openhajm from Częstochowa. They were members of the Będzin Jewish community, Będzin being the site of the Jewish cemetery.

Prayer services were held in private homes and in Chassidic “shtiebels” The first rabbi who lived in Sosnowiec was Rabbi Arje Lejb Gitler (deceased 1888). Because there was no separate congregation in Sosnowiec, he could not use the title “Rabbi” and was forced to use the title of “teacher”.
(ref: – accessed 1/7/2009).

In 1880, 120 Jews lived in Sosnowiec – comprising 1.3% of the total inhabitants. In 1888, the new ”teacher” was the son of the now deceased Rabbi Gitler, Rabbi Abram Majer Gitler (died 1925). In 1893, after the bubonic plague, the city council gave permission for the establishment of a Jewish cemetery. The purchase of the land was financed by the family of the merchant, Rajcher. The Będzin Jewish community was opposed to the opening of this cemetery.

Between the years 1894-1896, the Great Synagogue was built in Policyjna Street (today 16 Dekert Street). It catered to the needs of the growing Jewish population of Sosnowiec. In 1897, 2,291 Jews lived in the city, comprising 6.3% of the city’s population. In 1898, an independent Jewish Community Council was established. Rabbi Abram Majer Gitler was appointed Rabbi of Sosnowiec. Heading the Council were three wealthy and well-educated merchants: Stanislaw Rajner, Jakob Najfeld and Adolf Openhajm. In 1900, Rabbi Dawid Sztajnzalc (died 1921) became the new Rabbi of Sosnowiec and in 1902, Rabbi Icchak Flikman (died 1929) became “dayan” (rabbinical court judge).

From 1906, two Cha


Local history

Pałac Schöna w Sosnowcu | karta pocztowa

The first records of the village of Sosnowiec date back to 1727. The name Sosnowiec comes from pine forests originally growing in these areas. As a result of the third partition of Poland, the village was incorporated into Prussia. It was there that the borders of the three partitions met forming the triangle of the three emperors between the Czarna Przemsza and the Biała Przemsza Rivers. It became  part of the Duchy of Warsaw in 1807 and of Congress Poland (the Kingdom of Poland) in 1815. In the 19th century new deposits of hard bituminous coal were discovered. In 1859 a railway station was built with a branch of Warsaw – Vienna Railway. Consequently, the village started to develop. The areas attracted industrialists from western countries. Due to the dynamic growth, Sosnowiec was granted a charter in 1902. 

The outbreak of World War I stopped the development of the town. Many mines and industrial factories were damaged. Workers were sent to Germany to forced labor.

Despite many losses after World War I the industry of Sosnowiec began to develop again. In 1927 the town became the seat of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In 1928 the first tram line was opened to connect Sosnowiec with Będzin and Dąbrowa Górnicza.
It was at that time that the so-called "market halls of development" originated (Polish Trade Support Society), which meant to be competitive to Jewish trade.

On 4 September 1939 the German army entered Sosnowiec. As early as on the first day, the Nazis carried out public and single executions during which several dozens of people, both the Poles and the Jews, died. In March 1940 a temporary camp was established in former shop floors of Schoen Factory in 1 Maja Street. The camp was later changed into the police prison. In April and May the Germans carried out “Intelligenzaktion” during which engineers, teachers, technicians and clerks were arrested. Some of them never came back home and only few managed to survive the concentration camp in Dachau. On 27 January 1945 the town was liberated by the Soviet Army.




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