General information: First Jewish presence: 1280; peak Jewish population: either 2,000 or 1,800 (sources differ) in 1790; Jewish population in 1933: 503
Summary: The first Jews of Glogau (present-day Glogow, Poland) were documented in 1280. In 1299, by which point Glogau was home to a synagogue and a cemetery, the Count of Silesia, Heinrich III, granted Jews the right to settle in the city and to work as merchants. Spared the fate that befell their co-religionists from Silesia and Bohemia, local Jews (and those of Zuelz) were not expelled from the region in 1582. This fact, coupled with Glogau’s strategic location on the trade route to Russia and Poland, attracted considerable Jewish settlement, so that by the beginning of the 20th century, Glogau had become one of the most affluent Jewish communities in all of Europe. The community had maintained a cemetery and a synagogue since the Middle Ages, but the latter burned down in 1442. A new synagogue was built on Bailstrasse during the 17th century, as were, at different locations, several prayer houses. We also know that in 1892, the community inaugurated a new synagogue, and that local Jews maintained an elementary school (founded in 1827) and four cemeteries, one of which was located in Zenthof. The Jewish population in 1933 was 503. A Zionist study group and a branch of the Reich Federation of Jewish Front Soldiers were founded, respectively, in March and July of that year. In Glogau, the enforcers of the anti-Jewish boycott delighted in parading prominent Jewish businessmen, all bearing anti-Semitic placards, around the city. By 1936, the Jewish population had dropped to 307. On Pogrom Night, rioters plundered the synagogue, set the building on fire and destroyed Jewish-owned stores and homes; Jewish men were arrested that night. By 1939, only 120 Jews still lived in Glogau; two years later, in 1941, that number had dropped to 45, all of whom lived in one of two designated “Jews’ houses.” In April 1943, the remaining 30 Jews were deported to the Izbica concentration camp (near Lublin), where they all perished. Memorial plaques were later unveiled near the synagogue and cemetery sites. Glogau is no longer home to a Jewish community.
Photo: The main synagogue of Glogau. Courtesy of: The Wiener Archive.
Author / Sources: Benjamin Rosendahl Sources: EJL, LJG, YV
Located in: silesia