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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.



Adam Marczewski

dzielnica żydowska w Sosnowcu | nieznany

Jews began settling in Sosnowiec in the mid-19th century during a time of the city's economic development. Historical documents mention that Abram Blumental moved from Modrzejów to Sosnowiec in 1859, thus becoming the town's first Jew. He worked as a city tax collector and, with the consent of imperial authorities, purchased land next to the Customs Office where he erected the first residential building in Sosnowiec.

In the early 1860s, other Jews began settling in Sosnowiec, living, in most cases, in the neighborhood around the railway station. The most influential amongst them being William Bergman and Adolf Openhaim, merchants from Czestochowa. They belonged to the Będzin kehilla in Będzin, which is also where they buried their deceased. Prayer services  were held in private houses and in Hasidic shtibels. Arye Leyb Gitler (died in 1888) was the first rabbi that came to live in Sosnowiec. Because it did not have an independent kehilla, he had to settle for the title of a teacher.

In 1880, Sosnowiec had 120 Jews, 1.3% of the population. In 1888 Rabbi Abram Majer Gitler (died 1925), son of the deceased Rabbi Gitler, became a new educator there. In 1893, after the bubonic plague, the city council gave permission to establish a Jewish cemetery. The purchase of the land was financed by the family of Rajcher, a wealthy merchant. The Będzin Jewish community opposed the opening of this cemetery. 

Between the years 1894 and 1896, the Great Synagogue was built in Policyjna Street (today 16 Dekerta Street). It served the needs of a growing Jewish population in Sosnowiec. In 1897, 2291 Jews lived in the city, comprising 6.3% of the city’s population. In 1898, an independent Jewish community was established. Abram Majer was appointed Rabbi of Sosnowiec. The community council was headed by three wealthy and well-educated merchants: Stanisław Rajner, Jakob Najfeld and Adolf Openhajm. In 1900, Dawid Sztajnzalc (died 1921) became a new rabbi of Sosnowiec and in 1902, Rabbi Icchak Glikman (died 1929) became a dayan (rabbinical court judge).

From 1906, two Hasidic Jews were members of a 12-member synagogue board. In Sosnowiec, Hasidic rabbis were also active: Alter Abram Bezalel Natan Neta Biderman (died 1933 – his body was taken to I


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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