RACIBORZ: Śląskie Print

Coat of arms of RacibórzAlternate names: Racibórz [Pol], Ratibor [Ger], Ratiboř [Cz], Ratihor. 50°05' N, 18°12' E, in S Poland, 76 miles W of Kraków near the Czech border. 1900 Jewish population: 948. With 60,218 inhabitants in 2006, the town is situated in the Silesian Voivodeship since 1999 and previously in Katowice Voivodeship (1975-1998) and is the capital of Racibórz powiat. [June 2009]

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The first documentation of the Jewish population in Raciborz supposedly comes from the end of 11th century, when a synagogue possibly was located in the Old Village at or near the present church of St. Mikołaja na Starej. In 1379, a group of Jews lived here in this large trade and craft center. In 1495, the Jews had their own synagogue on the streets Solnej and Leczniczej at the corner of the existing streets Solna and Lecznicze. At the beginning of the 16th century, anti-Semitism flared in Silesia. On January 1, 1510 the prince expelled the Jews from Racibórz. They returned, however , mainly to Biala in sufficient numbers to set up a prayer house. In 1796, 30 Jewish families lived in Raciborz. In 1812 King Frederick Wilhelm III granted all Jews in his kingdom full civil rights. In 1825, Jews here purchased a plot at current street Szewska for the 1650 talarów on which to build a Neo-classical synagogue completed in 1830 with chandelabra from Barcelona for 376 by 1832, 777 in 1847, more than 1,200 in 1872, and 1,500 in 1900. The wealthy Jewish community completed a new Moorish synagogue in 1889 that survived to "Kristallnacht" in 1938 when the Nazis burned it. The remaining walls were demolished in 1958 replaced by a square. In the 1930s, very few Jews managed to immigrate. Very few survived the Holocaust. [June 2009]

The 2.03 hectare cemetery was located on the Wilczej Górze and Fojcik głubczycki streets. The kahal purchased the cemetery in the Old Village from Jana Hutnego in 1814, but began its use only in 1817. Prior to that the Jews used Jewish cemeteries in nearby cities or Biala Prudnicki, Bodzanowie, or Mikołów . The oldest documented gravestone is that of Rosalii Wachsner from 1821. The last burials at the cemetery probably were Josef Bohn (7.03.1940) and Adela Fraenkel (10.02.1941). Most gravestones dating from the second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries are black, white,and pink marble or granite and sandstone as either traditional shapes or obelisks, boulders, and more artistic forms and a wide array of decoration. Inscriptions are in Hebrew and German and only rarely just Hebrew. In 1973, to decommission the cemetery, masons from the surrounding area were allowed to take them to reuse in Catholic cemeteries. Some fragments and stone foundations are all that remain. Photos. video. [June 2009]

US Commission No. 000559. In Katowickie. The US Commission is not finished rechecking this file. [2000]

Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2009 15:35