The first mention of Jews in Gliwice was in the 17th century. Jewish population: 1783-68 and 1809 - 18 families. The first synagogue opened on September 4, 1812 with the probable first rabbi, Samuel Biedermann. In 1861 another synagogue opened. This Moorish synagogue was rebuilt in 1911. Many Jewish organizations and associations and a school existed. The rise of Hitler began a difficult period for the Gliwice Jews. In 1933 the rabbi beaten, and Jewish shops and businesses boycotted. Jews began to leave. In 1938 Jews were forbidden to conduct of any business. During "Kristallnacht", the local synagogue was burned and Jewish shops and apartments plundered. In 1942, the majority of Gliwice Jews were transported to Auschwitz. The last transport departed in December 1943. [May 2009]
GLIWICE I& II: (Katowice). Also see Bytom. Identified by the US Commission but they have no further information.
New Cemetery: Opened in November 1903 on Poniatowskiego Street replaced the full old cemetery for the continuously increasing number of Jews. The 1.7 ha site has a brick wall to the street with two large forged, cast iron gates. An impressive neo-Gothic preburial house was designed by Viennese architect Max Fleischer. Made of decorative clinker bricks. The symmetrical elevation is 43 meters. The central large hall exceeds twice the lateral wings and is crowned with a ribbed vaulting. On the ceiling are paintings and decorative pieces. The upper vaults are decorated with frescoes depicting a starry sky. Remnants of geometric ornamentation remains beneath. On the east and west main hall walls are fragments of stained glass windows with geometric motifs based on three Mogen David. The house in the cemetery is well maintained. Over 600 gravestones and Art Nouveau and Modern family tombs remain. About 900 people are buried there. "Let his soul be bound in the bond of eternal life" is almost etched on each. In addition to the Mogen David and TNCBH for the aforementioned prayer marks graves of assimilated Jews. An avenue with high trees runs through the cemetery. A monument made of gray granite in the form of a cube was placed in 1932 by the German Association of Jewish Soldiers for 58 Jews killed during WWI. On the monument is written: "unseren Kameraden". Cemetery remains open for burialand is one of three active Jewish cemetery in the Silesia region. Dr. Wilhelm Münz is buried there. [May 2009]
Town Jewish population: less than 100. In 1986, a small Jewish community and a synagogue existed, with the cemetery serving their needs. Post-WWII burials began as early as 1945. The unlocked gate is partially open so that one can enter. The suburban flat land, separate but near other cemeteries has no sign but a Magen David is in the window of main, vandalized building. Reached by turning directly off a public road, a continuous masonry/brick wall surrounds the cemetery. The large cemetery contains about 500 gravestones, apparently all in original location with about thirty percent toppled or broken. Vegetation overgrowth a constant problem damaging stones. The gravestones date possibly from the late 18th to 20th centuries. The marble, limestone, and slate flat shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, or possibly flat stones with carved relief decoration, have Hebrew, German, and possibly Yiddish inscriptions. No known mass graves. The cemetery property is now used for Jewish cemetery only and is adjacent is the Catholic cemetery. Compared to 1939, the cemetery boundaries enclose the same area. No maintenance or care. Within the limits of the cemetery is an impressive building, a large hall, and many smaller rooms, baths, kitchen, and an apartment. Most are now broken and burned. Security is a very serious threat as the property is open to vandals. Vegetation is a very serious threat preventing access. Vandals burned the pre-burial house in the last ten years. Stones were stolen since 1950. Zvi Shiller, 23942 Bennington Dr., Valencia, CA 91354 (661) 254-0033 completed survey. [date: before 2000]
Old Cemetery: The first burial was May 24, 1815 in a separate section in the cemetery at the current street called Wielowyznaniowego Kozielski. The cemetery was closed in the 1980s. The Jews purchased those plots in 1795 when a cemetery could not be located closer than 25 meters from the nearest residential structure. The 0.63 hectare cemetery contains about 500 visible graves arranged in equal , but dense, rows. The traditional Jewish matzevot are vertical, crowned or semicircular with inscriptions in Hebrew or Hebrew-German, and decorated with symbols. The gray Silesian sandstone called 'stone that wept' by the Jews was poorly resistant to weathering. The gravestones are in dire need of preservation. The inscription on the oldest are "burrowing" convex and difficult to maintain with inscriptions only in Hebrew with rare symbols. The first one is a combination of two motifs: a single candlestick with a broken light above, breaking through the leafy crown of a closed trunk. The second is called "żydowska rozeta". Jewish rosette, symbolizing the sun and messianic hope. This symbol also evokes souls after death. The most magnificent tomb is that of the family Meyerów, who built a neo-classical chapel in the form of an ohel (Hebrew for tent), posed with a distinguished scholar. Interestingly, although unfortunately much destroyed, are tombs embedded in the walls of the cemetery. The nineteenth century gravestones are portals or porticos with columns, pilasters or entablature with the name of the family. In the cemetery also were buried the family named Troplowitz: Solomon (1760-1869)-Hungarian wine merchant, Louis Troplowitz-builder of the synagogue, Willi Caro, and Dr. Oscar Troplowitza, well-known pharmacist and inventor of the popular toothpaste and the cream "Nivea". The last burial took place in February 1937: Ernestine Hahn. The cemetery was closed in 1953.[May 2009]
REFERENCE: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 25, 75
|Last Updated on Saturday, 16 May 2009 22:29|