SLAWKOW KRZYKAWKA: Małopolskie Print

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Coat of arms of Sławków Alternate names: Sławków [Pol], Slavkuv, Славкув [Rus], סלאוקוב [Yid]. 50°18' N, 19°24' E, 67 miles WSW of Kielce, 27 miles WNW of Kraków, 11 miles ESE of Będzin. 1900 Jewish population: 714.  Yizkor:  Pinkas ha-kehilot; entsiklopediya shel ha-yishuvim le-min hivasdam ve-ad le-aher shoat milhemet ha-olam ha-sheniya: Poland vol. 7: Kielce and Lublin (Jerusalem, 1999).Sławków is a small town in Zagłębie Dąbrowskie in southern Poland bordering the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union, a metropolis with a population of around 2 million in the Silesian Highlands in the Silesian Voivodeship since 1999 and previously in Katowice Voivodeship. Sosnowiec is one of the cities of the 2,7 million conurbation of the Katowice urban area within a greater Silesian metropolitan area populated by about 5,294,000 people. The population of the town was 6,866 in 2008. From 1999 to 2001, Sławków was part of Lesser Poland Voivodeship then the Silesian Voivodeship in 2002 and is in Będzin powiat although separated from the rest of that county by the cities of Dąbrowa Górnicza and Sosnowiec. [July 2009]

The Jewish community owned a synagogue built in 1896, a mikvah located at Rynek 6, and a cemetery. In December 1939, 960 Jews lived in the Sławków population of 7801. The Jewish Community in Sławków was established officially in 1904 with the first rabbi of the community, Szalom Zajonc.  In 1790, the population had 1,467 Poles with no Jews because Jewish settlement was prohibited by the bishopric at a time other towns had large Jewish populations. In June 1862, the Csarist government granted all Jews the same civil rights and duties as the Christian population. By 1865, 2618 Christians and 64 Jews lived there. In 1890, the ratio remained the same with 246 Jews. In the 1860s and 1880s, the Jewish population increased rapidly, developing the metals and mining industry. Michael Zeitler and then the Schein brothers were wire articles factory owners. Over time, many bought their own homes. The two cultures and religions lived amicably. Formerly subordinate to Olkusz.kahal, Jews here organized a kahal authorized by the governor in 1904, sharing the expenses for the maintenance of the house of prayer, rabbi, charities, Jewish cemetery, mikvah, and charity hospital. Szulim Hare was the first rabbi until his death November 27, 1928. They also employed a shochet, secretary, cantor, gabbai, and gravedigger. In 1893 they had bought a vast square (21 square rods) to build the temple at ul Kilińskiego No. 10 for 43,920 €.. The brick synagogue had separate floors for men and women. On the western side was an office, hall and premises for the synagogue watchman. A mikvah in the square abutted the synagogue on one-sixth of the property on Bishop David Watenberg Street. 6 Rynek [market square], acquired by Mordke Szajna Pokladňa for his wife Dwojry Szajnowej, was a brick building with one to two bathrooms valued at 3200 PLN. Well-known Jewish families included, among others, Schein (Szajn), Zając, Rozenberg, Cymermen, Słomnick, Szykman, Grosfeld, Laks, Testyler, Lancman, Wiślic, Libermensz, Watenbergó. After the death of Rabbi Zając, Josek Lederman was spiritual leader until the next rabbi, Boruch Hepner, arrived in 1931 and served until his death in the Holocaust. Before WWII, the factory employed a few dozen Jews, as did workshops or commercial enterprises. Others went to the Jewish communities in Zagłębie Dabrowskiego and Upper Silesia in search of better economic conditions. Some families immigrated to Palestine and Western countries. The Jewish community is divided between Chassids and Haskalah. In the late 1920s, aliyah to Israel was popular, but they still supported communal institutions and charities. Jewish children attended school with Polish children and secondary schools in Olkusz and Sosnowiec. Schein brothers paid tuition fees and clothing. Jewish children, whose home language was the "Yiddish", learned English in the Schein brothers' elementary school. Professionals like doctors and dentists lived in the town. At the outbreak of WWII, 15 Nazis entered the market on motorcycles with machine guns. On 5 September 1939, five tanks occupied Olkusz district. In the first days of September 1939, the majority of Jews fled Sławków, but on 3 September the army blew up the bridge across the Sławkowie river, Blaj Przemsza with disastrous consequences for the escaping Jews. September 6, in Sławkowie and on the road and in Zagłębiu Dąbrowski, many Jews died. Buried temporarily at the scene of the carnage, German authorities permitted the exhumation of their remains and their burial at the Sławkow Jewish cemetery by Mr. Rozenberg and Mr. Testyler. On August 27, 1996, the President of the World Assembly of Zagłębiow Jews, Arieh ben Tova Sławków and city authorities unveiled a memorial plaque at the river. German annexation of the western part of the Olkusk district occurred in October 1939. Sławków came to Katowice rejencji in the province of Silesia. A December 1939 census by the occupiers showed a population of 7,801: 6,817 Poles, 12 Germans, 5 Ruthenians (Ukrainians), and 960 Jews put into local daily forced labor of 11 hours. Young people were transported to Germany to work. Schein Jewish factory workers were laid, although in autumn 1940 7 to 20 Jews still worked there. In September 1939, in Koźle (district Sławków) about 80 Jews were murdered, their bodies thrown into the former mine shaft at the same time 80% of the escaped Jews had returned and remained in Sławkow with a dozen people from other towns. A Judenrat was set up with the Joint funds enabling them to run a soup kitchen, gave fuel and food for more than 300 people slaving on roads, railways, and other locations. On October 28, 1940, 50 people aged 18-55 were sent to the Gepperstorf labor camp. In 1941, the police and the special branch of the SS guarded the ghetto on the streets Kilińskiego, Kościuszki, Kwartowskiej and Podwalnej in homes of expelled Poles. (After liquidation of the ghetto, the buildings on Kościuszki Street were demolished.) Jews were forced to wear a Mogen David. Jews worked in sewing workshops and at carpentry in ghetto "haylofts". "Judenrat" Jewish militia organized to enforce labor discipline. At the end of 1942, a "selection" took place in the Kilińskiego Slavkovský Jewish ghetto in the street on the square. The young were taken to camps in Germany and Zagłębiu and the older sent to work in the brewery. In 1943, together with the inhabitants of the Będziń ghetto in special "Będzin-Sosnowiec" transport, they were taken to Auschwitz. Only a few survived, mostly young prisoners of concentration camps. Poles saved a number of Jews. The museum has a permanent exhibition on Jewish memorabilia called "Fragment Historii Żydów Sławkowa" with photos of the synagogue books, documents relating to the inhabitants of the Jewish community, and portraits of the Jews painted by Henry Krupiński. The original synagogue building turned into a warehouse by the Nazis served several purposes after liberation and currently is in private ownership. A plaque on the building in English and Hebrew commemorates the synagogue. [July 2009]

CEMETERY: Normal 0 The cemetery founded in 1907 by the road leading to the village of Sławków Krzykawka on two morgach of land purchased from the owner of Krzykawka and valued at 4,250 zł was on land within Bolesław commune with stone beit tahara and cottage for the watchman. David Lancmana in 1966 fixed the cemetery fence and installed an iron gate. Creation of the cemetery is considered 1924, however, in data from 1907 a cemetery is noted. The oldest tombstone dates from 1904. The cemetery was founded by the Kamieniarz kahal members Mark Alter and Będzin Kisner. People say that the stonemason was a Pole, working anonymously. The inscription on the entrance gate indicates that the cemetery restored by Daniel Landsmann in 1966. Before later restoration, the cemetery was difficult to access due to a sandy sludge dump and meadows and fields. Now, a little red house and a tree beside the old high wall with a gate are visible as are a dozen matzevot with different proportions - one high and slender, others broad and low made of sandstone, slabs of stone, or concrete. Most matzevot are vertically set slabs with rectangular or semi-circle tops, some with bas-relief, and covered with Hebrew inscription with the name of the deceased, name of father, date of death, sometimes the funeral date, and the deceased's merits and good deeds. Symbols include Cohanim hands; jug and bowl of Levites; names suggested by animals like a lion for Judah, fish for Fiszł, bird for Tsipora, bear for Ber, and rose for Szoszana; book for knowledge of the Torah, two pigeons for marital bliss; and candlestick for a woman. Now maintained and protected, wall fenced, and vegetation overgrowth removed, plans were made to overhaul the access road and construct a parking lot with regular maintenance. Jewish representatives of their ancestors arrived in 2003 to visit the cemetery with the Israeli Ambassador to Poland, Shevach Weiss. [July 2009]


Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 July 2009 15:36