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Alternate names: Wadowice [Pol], Vadovitza, ואדוביץ [Yid], Vadovits, Vadovitse, Vadovitz.  49°53' N, 19°29' E, 24 miles SW of Kraków. Jewish population: 722 (in 1880), 1,437 (in 1921). Normal 0 Yizkor: Sefer zikaron le-kehilot Wadowice, Andrychow, Kalwarja, Myslenice, Sucha (Ramat Gan, 1967). Normal 0 Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), XIII, pp. 879-887: "Wadowice". This town in southern Poland, 50 km from Kraków with 19,200 inhabitants in 2006, is situated on the Skawa river confluence with the Vistula in the eastern part of Silesian Plateau (Pogórze Ślaskie). Wadowice is best known as the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. Hundreds of people from the area (priests, teachers and artists) were murdered in mass executions. Hundreds more were resettled to make room for German settlers. Between 1941 and 1943, a Jewish ghetto established for almost the entire local Jewish population of more than 2,000 was liquidated with most sent to nearby Auschwitz concentration camp. The Germans set up a POW camp for Allied soldiers and a penal transfer camp for various German concentration camps. Gmina Wadowice is an urban-rural administrative district in Wadowice powiat, Malopolskie Voivodeship in southern Poland with its seat in the town of Wadowice, which lies approximately 38 kilometres (24 mi) south-west of the regional capital Kraków. The gmina 2006 total population was 37,481 with 19,149 in the town. Beside the town of Wadowice, Gmina Wadowice contains the villages and settlements of Babica, Barwałd Dolny, Chocznia, Gorzeń Dolny, Gorzeń Górny, Jaroszowice, Kaczyna, Klecza Dolna, Klecza Górna, Ponikiew, Ponikiew-Chobot, Roków, Stanisław Górny, Wysoka and Zawadka. [July 2009]

Initially the Jews buried their dead in the Jewish cemetery at Zator. In the second half of the 19th century, a number of Jewish communities in Wadowice gmina/powiat founded burial places of their own as early as 1876. Only in 1882, did the kahal purchase two parcels measuring 5,866 sq m in the northern part of the town on the road to Tomic, now ul. Wojska Polskiego. Eventually, beit tahara and brick walls were added. In 1894, 941 square meters were purchased. In addition to typical matzevot are columns, obelisks and sarcophagi made of marble and other precious stones with inscriptions in Hebrew, Polish, and German. Entry through the brick wall is via the preburial. About 600 graves exist, some with gravestones reconstructed with contemporary polychrome and original carvings. Buried here are Baruch Thieberg, a participant in the January Uprising and the first Jew allowed to settle in the city after the period covered by the "de non tolerandis Judaeis" privilege. The cemetery also contains graves of WWI soldiers. The last funeral was on April 16, 1939 for Henry Taube. After the liberation, some families erected symbolic gravestones for the victims. [July 2009]

MASS GRAVE: 92 people murdered in 1943 in Makowie Podhalańskim were escapees from a deportation to Belzec, who hid for several months in the surrounding forests and caught by the Germans and executed. A monument was erected on the mass grave.  During WWII, the German authorities sold the cemetery to a company intended to export and use the matzevot for building purposes. These plans did not have time to come to fruition. atarzyna Iwańska in 2004 was a curator of an exhibition about the Jews of Wadowice. She is caretaker of the Jewish cemetery in Wadowice. The Pope and the Jewish community. A history of local Jews in the Historical and Cultural "Wadoviana" (number 9) can be purchased by mail at the Museum in Wadowice (The Development of Jewish Settlements in Wadowice") website of the Museum. Photos. [July 2009] 

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 February 2010 10:27
 
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