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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:myszkowski / zawierciański (before 1939)
Community:Żarki / Żarki (before 1939)
Other names:Zharki [j. jidysz]; זשאַרקי [j. hebrajski]; Żarki [j. niemiecki]
50.6242° N / 19.3646° E
50°37'27" N / 19°21'52" E


Krzysztof Urbański

Żarki – a city in Śląsk Province, Myszków county, rural-city municipality Żarki. In 1975-1998, it belonged to Częstochowa Province as an administrative unit. Located south-west to Częstochowa, at the lower Warta River.



Krzysztof Urbański /

Rodzina Sznajdermanow z Zarek | nieznany

The first Jewish settlements in Żarki were established in the 16th century. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries a kahal was established here It was subject to the county kahal in Lelow.

According to Dorota Rosińska: “(…) the first synagogue in Żarki was probably built in the 16th century. In the 18th century a second object of religious cult was erected in the town – a house of prayer, which also served as an elementary religious school (heder)”.

In 1741, 113 adult Jews inhabited Żarki, in the area near the market square above all. They were obliged to pay annual fee of 150 zlotys for the church.


As the historical documents from 1790 show that there were two synagogues, a Jewish hospital and a heder in Żarki. Among the Jewish residents there were 17 craftsmen, having 12 different occupations. In the middle of the 18th century a Jewish cemetery was opened in the suburbs of the town. The next one was established in 1820.

According to Anatol Leszczyński, Żarki was inhabited by: 348 Jews in 1791, 702 in 1827, 1544 in 1857, 2291 in 1864 and 2250 in 1897. Their main occupations were connected with minor trade and crafts.


It is worth mentioning that in 1810 Izrael Ejbuszowicz, the future rabbi of Radom, was born in Żarki, where he had studied until he turned 20. From 1840 he was doing his training in Radom, where he stayed.

In 1832 a cholera epidemic struck Żarki and caused death of 40 Poles and 170 Jews.


In 1821 kahals were abolished and synagogue councils were established. The council from Żarki became subordinate to the Lelow District. In 1836 the Żarki synagogue council was represented by Judka Fajner, Ejzyk Sztybl, Izrael Piotrowski, and in 1859 by Mordka Siwek, Jakub Kornberg, and Icyk Wajntraub. In the middle of the 19th century a brick synagogue was built. Symcha H. Szwarcberg had been a rabbi since 1906, and Lejb Szwiner became the lower rabbi in the branch in Myszków. In 1916 the following persons became members of the synagogue council: Lejzor Chrzanowski, Mordka Fromer, and Szymon Szporn.

In 1909, the Jewish community in Żarkiconsisted of 232 people, which made up 44.8% of all. In 1921 the population of the town equaled 4,073 including 2,535 Jews, which meant the Jews made up 57% of all residents.

Local history

Krzysztof Urbański

The village of Żarki was mentioned for the first time in 1325-1327. Prior to 1382, Żarki was granted a charter based on Polish Law, although there are opinions that the town was chartered during the reign of King Kazimierz Wielki . In 1406, King Władysław Jagiełło changed the Polish rights the town was based on to Środa rights . Marceli Antoniewicz writes: “In the very specific case of Żarki, one can state beyond any doubt that in the year 1406 the town was legally and administratively shaped and a hereditary mayor stood at the head of the town” .
Żarki was a private center owned by the Myszkowskis, then Korycińskis and Męcińskis. It was established as a local center of craft and trade. Fairs were set up as early as 1556 and were supposed to be held on each Tuesday. The center of the town included a trapezoid square and streets diverging from the corners . In 1662, there were 630 people living in Żarki. A huge fire destroyed the town in 1664.
In 1720, the town was established in a new place and then developed as an important craft center. Blacksmith’s workshops, where iron ore was processed, were active in the town. A huge furnace with two refineries was activated. The town was known because its inhabitants took part in the Bar Confederation.
In 1791, Żarki had 1,297 inhabitants. Since 1793, Żarki was under the Prussian rule. In 1795, the representatives of the town took part in the convention in Częstochowa, where a uniform system of weights and measures was introduced. Rules of selling beer, vodka, rye, wheat, tartar buckwheat, meat, bread and items of daily use were adapted. Since 1807, Żarki was within the limits of the Duchy of Warszawa, and since 1815, of the Kingdom of Poland. Since 1831, the town was famous for production of mining and farm machines. P. A. Steinkeller, one of the most distinguished Polish industrialists, was listed as the owner of the town as of 1831. He set up a farm machines factory in Żarki and established a foundry, blacksmith’s workshops and enameling works: “… local people made quite a profit by delivering the needed material and distributing the products” . In 1851-1853, on the grounds belonging to Steinkeller, a cotton spinning-mill was set up by H. Lindheim.

In 1868, the owner of Żarki became Stanisław Lesser. As a result of the repressions followi





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