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Zielona Góra

Polska / lubuskie

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Summary

Province:lubuskie / inne (before 1939)
County:zielonogórski / Grünberg i. Schles. (before 1939)
Community:Zielona Góra / Grünberg in Schlesien (before 1939)
Other names:Grünberg in Schlesien [j. niemiecki];
 
GPS:
51.9354° N / 15.5063° E
51°56'07" N / 15°30'22" E

Location

izrael.badacz.org /

Zielona Góra – a city in western Poland, Lubusz Province, a county capital. It is located 452 km west of Warsaw and lies on the slope of the valley of the Odra River.

 

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History

Andrzej Kirmiel

Illustration nr 3 | unknown

The history of Jews in Zielona Góra is inseparably linked with the Jewish community in Głogów. The town, which was situated in Głogów principality, was probably granted the de non tolerandis Judaeis privilege and had no Jews of its own. However, the Jews coming for some time to Głogów had to be tolerated. Thus, the Jews who were first mentioned in town were actually Jews from Głogów.

After Emperor Ferdynand I expelled the Jews from Śląsk in 1558, there were no Jews at all there for some time. It was only in 1598 that Benedykt Izrael was granted an Emperor’s  privilege for himself and for his relatives to settle in Głogów as well as to trade in the principality of Głogów and also in Zielona Góra. Jews were burdened with heavy taxes, so that the state had to provide them with the opportunity to work. Individual towns were ordered to tolerate the Jews despite that, very often, there was opposition to it. According to several preserved sources, the situation was similar in Zielona Góra. There was an agreement for Jews to remain temporarily in the town on condition that that they paid certain fees. Jews were required to wear a red patch on their clothes so that people could immediately recognise them.

Jews were also not tolerated near Christian churches. In 1662, a town chronicler wrote, Godless Jewish people walk on Christian property as they wish, even in the church courtyard. Ignoring these bans resulted in penalties. This could mean the pillory (as in the case of Abraham Isaak), but it also could mean the gallows. In 1724, gallows stood in the suburbs of Zielona Góra, one of which was designated for Jews.

After Zielona Góra came under Prussian rule in 1740, the Jews' situation changed for the better. The Prussian King Fryderyk II the Great was much more tolerant than were the Habsburgs. Nevertheless, citizenship rights could only be obtained after having converted to Christianity. In 1769, a 36-year-old Jewish woman was christened. The most important town dignitaries took part in the christening ceremony during which the neophyte took the name Christine Elisabeth. This indicates what influence religion had on the attitude of Christians towards Jews.

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Local history

Andrzej Kirmiel /

Zielona Góra (German: Grünberg) was first mentioned in a document issued by Duke of Głogów Henryk III in 1302. The estimated date of the settlement being granted town rights is 1323, when it remained under the rule of Duke of Głogów and Żagań Henryk IV. Earlier on, a market settlement had probably existed at the site of Zielona Góra; it had been located on the intersection of trade routes leading to Wrocław, Krosno, Kożuchów, and Głogów.

During the first centuries of its existence, the town was strongly connected to the Duchy of Głogów and the Piast dynasty. One of the traditional occupations of the residents of Zielona Góra was wine-growing. Earliest mentions of viticulture developing in the town date back to 1314. The inhabitants of Zielona Góra were also engaged in sheep breeding and cloth production. The town’s development was aided greatly by Henryk IV, who was able to maintain order on the territory of the duchy and decided to build a stone and brick wall around Zielona Góra in 1429. Remains of the wall have been preserved to this day.

Towards the end of the 15th century, after a war over the succession of Głogów, Bohemian King Władysław II Jagielończyk became the ruler of Silesia (1488). In 1526, the Habsburg dynasty took control over Silesia, including Zielona Góra. The town remained under the Habsburg rule for over two centuries. The quick progress of reformation led to numerous religious conflicts which took their toll on the town’s internal life. Evangelical inhabitants of the town, who constituted the majority of its population, were not allowed to have its own church. Religious conflicts, which eventually led to the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648), caused the economic collapse of Zielona Góra.

In 1741, Zielona Góra and the entire region of Silesia were annexed by Prussia. The new authorities established the Zielonogórski County. During the Napoleonic wars, the town was the site of marches of French, Russian, and Prussian troops.

It was not until the second half of the 19th century that Zielona Góra modernised its economy and started to develop. In 1871, a train station on the Wrocław–Szczecin rail route was built in the town, along with industrial wineries (wine festivals started to be held in the town in 1852), a brewery, cognac and spirits production plants, and clot

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