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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:zawierciański / zawierciański (before 1939)
Community:Zawiercie / Zawiercie (before 1939)
Other names:זאוויערטשע [j. jidysz]; זאוירציה [j. hebrajski]; Zawiercie [j. niemiecki]
50.4876° N / 19.4172° E
50°29'15" N / 19°25'01" E


Izrael badacz

Zawiercie is the capital of Zawiercie County in Silesia. There are 53,300 inhabitants, according to data from 2004. It lies in the Upper Warta Depression, upon the Warta.



Adam Marczewski /

Żydzi z Zawiercia | nieznany

In the second half of the 17th century, king Stanisław August Poniatowski issued a settlement grant allowing Jewish settlement in Zawiercie. The privilege let Jews reside there as farm workers in a few villages around the town of Pilica. It is possible that from that time forward, Jews settled down and lived in Zawiercie. They conducted small trade and dealt with craft (production of hats, tailoring, carpentry, blacksmithing, shoemaking etc.). When, in the half of the 19th century, Germans engaged to develop industry in Zawiercie, they received support from Jews. When a railway appeared, it prompted the Ginzburg family, Jews from Berlin, to purchase the local cotton spinning-mill in 1875. In the subsequent years they extended the mill, and set up a foundry in 1880. The Ginzburg brothers employed about three thousand workers. The Jews working in the foundry were managers, engineers and office workers. At this time, Bornstein established a publishing house, which contributed to the development of Jewish culture in Zawiercie.


A Jewish community was established at the end of the 19th century. In 1881, a synagogue and a house of prayer were built. In 1887 there were 1,134 Jews in Zawiercie. They made up 22% of the total population of the town . They were subject to the Kromołów kahal, where Israel Leib Gancwajch was a rabbi. There was also a cemetery in Kromołów where the dead from Zawiercie were buried. Towards the end of the 19th century, Haskalah ideas were spreading over the town and the number of assimilationists rose. More and more Jews were well educated, working as wholesale traders, pharmacists, doctors, lawyers and teachers. Some of them considered themselves Polish patriots of Mosaic faith. A sharp dispute arose between the Orthodox and assimilated Jews during the 1890 election for the kahal board. Before 1894 a synagogue was erected in Zawiercie.  


Toward the end of the 19th century, most of the Jewish children in Zawiercie attended a traditional heder (a religious elementary school for boys) and a religious school Talmud Torah. At the beginning of the 20th century, another synagogue and a house of prayer were built. Additionally, a land to build a cemetery was purchased. After rabbi Israel Leib Gancwajch’s death, his son Abraham Gancwajch entered a long-time dispute with Rabbi Mosze Leib Herz


Local history

Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN /

Zawiercie came into existence sometime in the twelfth century as a village in the Koromołowo estate. Over the years the village was owned by the parish of Koromołowo, Jan of Pilca, Jan Boner of Kraków, the Firlej family, the Warszycki family (in 1669), and the Pingshein family (19th century)—a banking family from Wrocław. During the 15th and 16th centuries the town was home to a number of smiths that manufactured goods for the army.

In 1795 Zawiercie became a part of the Prussian Partition of Poland, in 1807 of the Duchy of Warsaw, and in 1815 of the Russian Partition (Kingdom of Poland). There were two villages in the vicinity by the end of the 18th century: Zawiercie Większe, the location of a saw mill, and Zawiercie Małe, the location of a metallurgical plant. In the 19th century a new settlement, Duże Zawiercie, was founded nearby. With time the settlements all merged into one, and a town was established from them in 1887 that was home to more than 5,200 people. In the 19th century a Jewish community was founded in the town, and by 1939 there were 7,000 Jews in the town, making up 21% of the population. In the early 19th century the town began to see significant industrialization. In the 1830s the first cotton mill was open in the town, in 1847 a railway link with Częstochowa was established, and in the 1870s many textile mills opened that, by the inter-war period, could complete all stages of cotton production. By the 1890s the town had a glass factory, a chemical plant, and a machinery factory. Zawiercie Steelworks was established in 1901 (housing a standard furnace, an open-hearth furnace, and iron-rolling mills) along with a plough factory. Between 1905 and 1907 and in 1932 the town was the site of numerous demonstrations.

By 1910 Zawiercie was home to 28,300 inhabitants and to 31,600 by 1939. It was Granted a city charter in 1915. The town was occupied by the Nazi Germans between 1939 and 1945, and a ghetto was established in the town that existed from 1941 until 1943; it was home to nearly 5,000 prisoners over the course of its operation, most of whom were transported to Auschwitz. The town was also home to a labor division of Soviet prisoners-of-war from the camp in Cieszyn as well as other prisoners of unknown nationalities. A camp for men existed f





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