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Wodzisław Śląski

Polska / śląskie

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Summary

Province:śląskie / śląskie autonomiczne (before 1939)
County:wodzisławski / rybnicki (before 1939)
Community:Wodzisław Śląski / Wodzisław (before 1939)
Other names:Wodzisław
Wodzisuaw Ślůnski [śląski]
Vladislavia [łacina]
Vladislav [j. czeski]
Loslau [j. niemiecki]
Водзислав-Слёнски [j. rosyjski]
 
GPS:
50.0033° N / 18.4720° E
50°00'11" N / 18°28'19" E

Location

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Wodzisław Śląski – a county town – is located in Silesia. There are 50,500 inhabitants. It lies in the south of the Rybnik Plateau, upon the river of Lesznica (the right-bank tributary of the Odra).

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History

Adam Marczewski

kamienica Löw'ego | K. Kowalska

During the first Silesian War in 1742, most of the Silesia was under the rule of the Prussian Kingdom (except for the Cieszyn Silesia and the Duchy of Opawa).
The Silesian Jews welcomed the Prussian rule with big hopes for a better life. A Jewish historian, Rabbi Marcus Brann, described the current mood in the following way: “The oppressed Jews, full of hope and trust, turned to the young Prussian king, who in December entered Silesia; the Jews hoped that a ray of justice and clemency would finally lighten their dark paths of life.” . 

At first, the Prussian authorities treated the Silesian Jews with indifference. However, after some time, Casear Friderick II started to limit the freedom of the Jewish community through various taxes, thanks to which the country had some economic benefits.
On April 17, 1750, Prussian authorities issued The General Prussian Regulations and General Privileges, which in detail described the legal, social, political and economic situation of the Jews. Jacob Jacobson wrote the following about the regulations: “As everywhere in Germany, the General Regulations have been thought through in such a way as to limit the Jews living in the country to a specific number, to allow them to run strictly determined businesses within the economic system of the nation and to impose on them the highest taxes in return for protection and tolerance of their stay.
The most important legal act regulating the status of the Jews in Silesia (except for Wrocław and Głogów) was the so-called „Juden Reglement” issued on 2 December 1751. It imposed on the landowners and town halls the duty to report to the district authority office and royal tolerance office any case of Jewish settlement within 14 days. This way, a system controlling the influx of Jewish people to Silesia was established. However, the Prussian authorities did not tolerate Jewish beggars and vagabonds .

In September 1768, the Prussian authorities prohibited the Jews from establishing new Jewish cemeteries and building synagogues without paying a special concession fee. The subsequent Prussian orders allowed the Jews to settle only in villages and to work as innkeepers, craftsmen, bakers and tenants of court breweries.
In 1776, the Prussian authorities ordered all Jews living on the left side of Odra to resettle to

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Local history

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Panorama Wodzisławia od strony południowej z 1874 roku  | nieznany

The oldest notes about Wodzisław date back to 1239. In 1241 the settlement was destroyed by Tartar hordes. Therefore, Władysław I, the Duke of Opole, decided to restore it by the settlement under medieval German laws granting special entitlements. The initial name of the town – Vladislawia – was given after the duke. The town is thought to have been granted a charter in 1257 after the Franciscan order had been established in the settlement. However, no documents connected with granting the charter have survived. At that time, Wodzisław was one of the most populated and richest towns of Upper Silesia. In the times of Duchess Konstancja (the daughter of Władysław I) the town developed fast. Wodzisław’s population was into trade and craft, especially with pottery, weaving and shoemaking. The town had a privilege to organize four markets a year. At the beginning of the 16th century the town became the capital of the State Country of Wodzisław. At that time Wodzisław had a status of a private town. In Habsburg times the town started to get poorer. It was at the time of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation when the decline of Wodzisław started. As a result of religious contradictions the Thirty Years’ War broke out during which the town was burnt. Over the centuries Wodzislaw was hit by a number of natural disasters, for example the hailstorm in 1848 caused famine typhus. After a fire in 1822 the town was restored brick. The first Jews started to settle down in Wodzislaw at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1847 the Jewish community was established. For over the next 100 years being councilmen the Jews had seats on a town council. When Wodzisław was under Prussian rule, the mining industry and craft started to develop gradually. Also, a tanning factory was founded. The process of extending the town resulted in the development of building. In 1882 the railway between Bogumin and Rybnik via Wodzislaw was built.
After the end of both World War I and the Silesian Uprisings, Wodzisław was incorporated into the Republic of Poland. In the interwar period the town still developed economically. Various public societies were founded such as singers’ or sport movements.
On the first day of World War II Wodzisław was occupied by the Nazis. Wodzisław was liberated on 26 March 1945 by the Soviet Army and the First Czech &

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