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Polska / śląskie

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


Province:śląskie / krakowskie (before 1939)
County:żywiecki / żywiecki (before 1939)
Community:Żywiec / Żywiec (before 1939)
Other names:Zhivitz [j. jidysz]; Saybusch [j. niemiecki]
49.6905° N / 19.1840° E
49°41'25" N / 19°11'02" E


Izrael badacz

Żywiec is the capital of Żywiec County in Silesia. It is inhabited by 32,000 people, according to data provided in 2004. Being situated in the picturesque Żywiec Valley, the city is surrounded by mountain ranges: in the west – the Silesian Beskids (Beskid Śląski), in the north – the Little Beskids (Beskid Mały), in the east and south by the Żywiecki Beskids (Beskid Żywiecki). Żywiec lies upon the Soła at the mouth of the Koszarawa and upon the Żywieckie Lake (Jezioro Żywieckie).



Adam Marczewski /

In 1626, Queen Konstancja issued the de non tolerandis Judaeis privilege banning Jews from settling in Żywiec, which drove Jews out of the town and into smaller municipalities such as Isep, Sporysz, and Zabłocie. They started to resettle in Żywiec at the end of the 17th century. Most of lived off running inns in the town and in nearby villages.

In 1797, Emperor Francis II renewed the ban on the Jewish settlement in Żywiec, but he also stated that Jews already born in the town could stay there if they wanted. At the time, most local Jews lived in a suburban village called Zabłocie. The inhabitants of  Żywiec took various precautions in order to prevent Jews from being born in the town; they even went as far as to build the railway station in Zabłocie, not in Żywiec, so that no Jewish woman would give birth while travelling through the town.

In 1820, Zabłocie had 32 Jewish inhabitants. Following the establishment of  an autonomous Jewish community  of Żywiec–Zabłocie in 1864,  an elementary school for both Jewish and Christian children was opened in 1874. In 1891 another Jewish community was established in Milówka. In 1914, there were 500 Jews living in Zabłocie.

In 1921, the Jewish community of Zabłocie had 624 members. In the 1930s, Jewish industrialist Ignacy Serog bought and modernised the famous “Solali” paper factory. Many Jews owned shops, restaurants and hotels. Among some of the most famous Jewish places in Zabłocie were: Tugenthat's delicatessen store, Kohn sisters' stationery shop, "Pod Góralem" restaurant (owned by Maks and Hugo Berger), well-renowned Mamer's tavern, Ferber's printing-house and bakeries owned by Anfricht and Hechcer. The Jewish community’s properties included the Jewish Folklore Centre, the "Makabi" Club’s stadium (currently, a bus station is located at the spot), Jewish Public School, Gottlieb’s restaurant and Jewish apartments situated on Dworcowa street.

In 1937, many local Jews migrated to Palestine.

Żywiec was taken over by the German Army in the first days of WWII. In the spring of 1941, Germans transported all Jews from Żywiec to the ghetto in Sucha Beskidzka. They subsequently started to systematically destroy all the remnants of the Jewish presence in the town. Jews from Żywiec were most probably put into Nazi freight trains and transp


Local history

Adam Marczewski

Żywiec, widok z wieży konkatedry na Łyskę, koniec XIX - początek XX wieku | T. Zamojski

Żywiec was founded by 1327, near an old market settlement in Stary Żywiec. From 1420 to1428 there were Hussites in Żywiec. The town initially belonged to Dukes of Cieszyn, then to Dukes of Oświęcim, and since 1456 to King Kazimierz IV Jagielonczyk. It was later granted to P.Komorowski and since 1624 it belonged to the Vasa dynasty and since 1673 to the Wielopolscy dynasty. In the 16th-18th centuries Żywiec was an important center of both craft (brewing, distilling industry, and cloth-making) and trade (of copper, lead, salt, wood). Since 1772 Żywiec was under Austrian rule. In 1822 the family of Charles Habsburg came into ownership of Żywiec. In 1856 the famous brewery was established as the biggest and the most modern brewery in Poland.






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