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]|
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 /
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
The oldest historical note of Zawiercie settlement dates back to 1431 when an inn of the same name was built near Kromołowo. In the 15thand 16th centuries, weaponry for artillery was manufactured in local smithies. Since 1795 the village Zawiercie was under Prussian rule, in 1807 it became a part of the Duchy of Warsaw, and since 1815 it was in Congress Poland (the Kingdom of Poland). Since the mid-19th century the industry started to develop. In 1915 Zawiercie was granted a charter.
During World War II, in September 1939 Zawiercie was occupied by the German army. In the same year Zawiercie, under the name of Warthenau, was incorporated into the Third Reich. In January 1945 Zawiercie was liberated by the Soviet army.
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