General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century (possibly earlier); peak Jewish population: 194 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: approximately 100
Summary: In 1370, approximately 360 Jews lived in 31 houses on the Judengasse (“Jews’ Alley”) in Bunzlau (present-day Boleslawiec, Poland), a town known for its ceramics. Jews were expelled from Bunzlau several times during the ensuing centuries, and it was only after 1812 that a Jewish community was reestablished there. This community consecrated a cemetery in 1818, a synagogue, on Teichpromenade, in 1878, and a Jewish school. In 1932/33, the leaders of the community were Dr. Huelse, Leopold Peritz (who was also treasurer) and Emil Ruppin; Theo Rosenthal and Isidor Pick headed the representation committee, and Joseph Frankental served as teacher/chazzan. A men’s chevra kadisha (founded in 1824) and a sisterhood (1873) were active in the community. Fifteen children studied religion in Bunzlau in 1933. On Pogrom Night, at which point 64 Jews lived in Bunzlau, the synagogue was burned down and Jewish-owned business were ransacked. By November 1942, only one Jew (he/she was married to a Gentile) remained in Bunzlau. In 1941, Erich Lewin, who between 1914 and 1920 had served as Bunzlau’s chazzan, rabbi and ritual slaughterer, was deported from Herford to Riga, where his wife was shot in May 1943; Lewin died in 1945. Bunzlau was also home to a Nazi work camp, to which Robert Leroy of Hungary, then aged 19, was sent from Auschwitz. Between 200 and 229 Bunzlau Jews perished in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Esther Sarah Evans
Sources: EJL, FJG, YV
Located in: silesia