General information: First Jewish presence: approximately 13th century; peak Jewish population: 129 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 47
Summary: Records suggest that Jews first settled in Frankenstein (present-day Zabkowice Slaskie, Poland) during the 13th century. A Judengasse (“Jews’ Alley”) is mentioned in records from 1403, as are a few Jewish residents, most of whom were moneylenders. Jews were expelled from the town (or prohibited from living in it) after 1514, and it was not until the 18th century that a new Jewish presence was established there. (Moritz Sachs, the first Jew to receive an official residency permit, settled in Frankenstein in 1806.) The community maintained two cemeteries (dating back to 1815 and 1878, respectively) and a kosher slaughterhouse. In 1815, local Jews established a synagogue in a rented house; after the house burned down in 1858, the community purchased a building at 9 Niederstrasse (present-day 13 Dolnoslaska). By 1933, only 47 Jews lived in Frankenstein; by 1937, that number had plummeted to 20. On Pogrom Night (November 1938), rioters vandalized the synagogue, a brush factory and an office. The synagogue was not burned down out of concern for the neighboring buildings. Eleven Jews lived in Frankenstein in 1939; by 1942, only one Jew resided there. The 10 Jews who lived in the town in 1939 were, presumably, deported to the East. As of this writing, memorial plaques have not been erected at the synagogue and cemetery sites.
Photo: Exterior view of the synagogue of Frankenstein. Courtesy of: Leo Baeck Institute Photo Archive.
Author / Sources: Benjamin Rosendahl
Sources: EJL, FJG, LJG
Located in: silesia