JAWOR: Dolnośląskie Print

Coat of arms of Jawor Alternate names: Jawor [Pol], Jauer [Ger],Javory [Czech]. 51°03' N, 16°11' E, In Lower Silesia, 37 miles W of Wrocław (Breslau), 10 miles S of Legnica (Liegnitz). Jewish population: 128 (in 1884), 91 (in 1925). This town in SW Poland with 24,347 inhabitants in 2006 in Lower Silesian Voivodeship (from 1975-1998 in the former Legnica Voivodeship) is the seat of Jawor gmina, 61 km (38 mi) Wof the regional capital Wrocław. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, Jawor means sycamore. The Jawor Synagogue built in 1364 is a Catholic church today. TBuilt in shape of an octagon andmost likely built as a church, it was given to the Jews by Duchess Augusta in 1420 and reverted back to a church when the Jews were expelled in 1446. No architectural evidence remains to show that this structure once was a synagogue. [May 2009]

Jewish settlement dates back at least to the beginning of 14th century.In 1364, they already had a synagogue (now the building is the chapel of St.. Adalbert, a baptismal chapel).The Jewish population since the mid-14th century lived between the present streets of Chopina, Klasztorną, Czarnieckiego, and Żeromskiego. In 1420, a ban on the presence of Jews in the city was issued. However, it has not been strictly observed. Only anti-Semitsm in 1435 forced the Jewish population to flee the city. Three years later (1438), the synagogue became a Catholic church. King Frederick William III in 1812 issued an edict that allowed the Jews into the city with rights equal to Christians; Jews began to re-settle in Jawor. Their community was subordinate to Legnicka kahal.  In 1869, 110 Jews resided in a general population about 10,000. The Jewish population began to decline until 1924 when only 71 remained. After 1933, they virtually disappeared from the city. After WWII, a small group of Polish Jews settled there. [May 2009]

CEMETERY: The cemetery founded in the mid-19th century now occupies an area approximately 0.2 hectares within a wall of concrete blocks. In  site was registered as an historic monument.  At the cemetery gate is a signl with the following information: "Jews in Jaworze decided to close [the cemetery] the Regional Office of Wroclaw. From 9.04.1974 onwards (...). prohibited under criminal penalty is devastation and destruction of any object." To date, about forty graves are in the back of the cemetery with the oldest matzevot from 1864. A few post-WWII graves exist. On the front  left side is a growing alley of trees that leads into the depths of the cemetery. Overall, the cemetery is kept in fairly good condition, avoiding major devastation. Viewed after lush spring vegetation, a small cemetery as if time had stopped, can be seen as in the good times when the cemetery was surrounded by respect, regardless of the religion of people buried there. Despite the limited symbolic sepulchre art (the best preserved being a candle and an eye in a triangle symboizing God), the original shape of some gravestone, and unique atmosphere merits attention. The cemetery is located at ul. Głuchej. Directions: going to ul. Głuchą  from ul. Mickiewicza, turn right before house number 5. Go about 150 meters and turn left. The concrete fence will be a hundred meters to the left. photos and video. [May 2009]

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 May 2009 13:49