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Coat of arms of Kórnik Alternate names: Kórnik [Pol], Kurnik [Ger], Burgstadt [Ger 1939-45]. 52°15' N, 17°06' E, 12 miles SSE of Poznań (Posen). Jewish population: 399 (in 1871), 92 (in 1910). Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), IV, pp. 922-925: "Kurnik". This town with fewer than 6,807 inhabitants in 2006 is a major tourist attraction for its castle and library. Until 1961, the modern town of Kórnik consisted of two separate towns: Kórnik itself and the town of Bnin, located only 1 km away. Both towns were founded in Middle Ages. The origins of Jewish settlement in Kórnik are unclear. Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Bfore and Dring the Holocaust attributes the first mention of Jews from Kórnik to the end of 17th century. A study entitled "The Oldest Record of Jewish Settlements in Poland," says that as early as 1507, Jews paid coronation taxes. 16 Jews lived there in 1674 engaged in trade and crafts, especially tailoring. Jewish population increased substantially in the first half of the 19th century: 1837-1,158; 1840-1,170 (44%); 1871-399; and 1910-92. Many iimmigrated to Germany and America. At the outbreak of WW II, 30 to 35 Jews remained. The Nazis deported them to Lodz and Kalisz. [June 2009]

The Countess of Teofil built the wooden synagogue in 1767, one of the most unusual in Poland. The lower part of the synagogue designed for men and the upper gallery for women was completely torn down by the Nazis in 1940. All that remains is the narrow passage from the market for prayer taken by the Kornik Jews, 1.5 x 10 meters, called " Uchem Igielnym." The door in Hebrew and German reads: "This is the gate to the eternal; just enter here." The passage was renovated by locals in 1979. At the front door are two plaques indicating the synagogue and the passage. Annually,  the doors to the passage are opened and candles lit on Catholic Holy Days. In this way, Kórnik residents honor the memory of their former Jewish neighborsArchival synagogue photos. [May 2009]

CEMETERY: The Nazis destroyed the Jewish Cemetery in Kórnik on the outskirts of the city at the junction of ul. Średzkiej and ul. Średzkiej and ul. Parkowej in 1941. Marble tombstones were taken by the Nazis to shore up the sides of drainage ditches and for pavements. The Soviets established the cemetery as an arboretum for the Institute of Dendrology. In the 1960s, the mortuary building demolished. In 1981, during the rebuilding of ulica Reja, a few matzevot fragments were excavated. Działacze Kórnickiego Towarzystwa Kulturalnego decided to save them; and later other gravestones were found in the city streets. These granite, sandstone, and marble gravestones mostly from the 19th and early 20th century have inscriptions in Hebrew and German. Some matzevot still contain traces of polychrome. The opening of the lapidarium on May 6, 1984 at Święta Kwitnącej Magnoli was thanks to Jerzy Fogel of the Kórnick Cultural Society. In his letter to the Social Committee for the Care of Cemeteries and Monuments of Jewish Culture [Społecznego Komitetu Opieki nad Cmentarzami i Zabytkami Kultury Żydowskiej], he wrote: "The interior will be made available to the public only in exceptional cases. The object is not a museum, nor does it aspire to the role of the monument of martyrdom of the Polish Jews (...). The main premise was to organize the lapidarium as a humanitarian act." Photos. [May 2009]

US Commission No. POCE0000452

Alternate name: Kurnik in German. Kornik is located in region Pozranskie at 52°15 17°06, 20 km from Pozrania. Cemetery is at 5 Parkowa St. Present population is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Miasta Gminy, 1 Nepodlegtosci St., tel. 170147.
  • Regional: region Konserwator Zabytheow, 61-716 Poznan, 93 Kosccmszki St., tel. 696464.
  • Interested: Dr. Kazimier Krawiarz, Institute of Dendrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, tel. 170-033.

1921 Jewish population was 57. Jewish community was Conservative. The isolated urban flat land has no sign or marker, a continuous fence, no gate. Reached by crossing the Institute of Dendrology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, owner of the property. Access is open to all. No gravestones are visible. Removed stones are incorporated into a veranda at 20 Flensa Ave, Kornik; 13 entire and 40 fragments are in the lapodarium at the market square in Kornik. Adjacent properties are residential. The cemetery was vandalized during WWII. Within the limits of the cemetery is the former cemetery guard's house.

Pozana Pniewski, 47/4 Pry...... St. completed survey August 1991. The site was visited in 1989. Dr. Kazimier Krawiarz was interviewed for this survey.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 June 2009 23:36
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