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Zielona Góra

Polska / lubuskie

Synagogues, prayer houses and others Cemeteries Sites of martyrdom Judaica in museums Andere


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];
51.9354° N / 15.5063° E
51°56'07" N / 15°30'22" E

Location /

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.




Andrzej Kirmiel

Illustration nr 2 | Andrzej Kirmiel

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.



Local history

Andrzej Kirmiel /

From 1950 to 1998 the town of Zielona Góra belonged to Zielona Góra Province from an administrative point of view.

Before 1945 Żary was under German rule, Silesia Province, administrative district Legnica, Grünberg in Schlesien county.

The town of Zielona Góra was first mentioned in the 13th and 14th centuries. These are records in the documents of  the Głogów dukes. However, it is not known precisely when Zielona Góra was granted its town charter. According to the chronicles, the beginnings of town are connected with an administrative center of Silesian dukes which was situated in this area in 1222. The settlement was organized around it. In about 1272, a wooden castle was erected to the north of Zielona Góra.  It was taken over by Henry V – the duke of Głogów in 1365. The town of Zielona Góra was connected with the Duchy of Głogów and Lower Silesia for a long time. It is not clear from the source documents when the town was founded. Despite the fact that the year 1312 is mentioned in the document, the year 1323 was regarded as the year when the town rights were granted by the duke of Głogów-Żagań, Henry IV.

One of the oldest occupations of the residents of Zielona Góra was wine growing. This fact was mentioned in 1314. They also bred sheep and produced cloth. Thanks to the town rights Zielona Góra was granted, the town could develop economically, especially weaving and clothing developed.

Henry IX contributed to the town’s development.  He cared for order and tidiness in his duchy. In 1429, he gave an order to build a wall made of field stone and brick to surround the town. Fragments of this wall survived until today. Towards the end of the 15th century, after a war over succession, Władysław II Jagielończyk became the ruler of Silesia. Silesia along with Zielona Góra was under the Czech Republic rule, and later on it belonged to the Habsburg’s dynasty.

Zielona Góra was under Habsburg’s rule for over the next two centuries. It was a very difficult period for the town, because of political, religious and economic factors. Reformation and Protestant influence led to many religious conflicts, which had an impact on life in Zielona Góra. Evangelical residents, who made the most of the population of Zielona Góra, did not have the right to have their own church in the Catholic Habsburg st


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