General information: First Jewish presence: 14th century; peak Jewish population: 90 in 1852 and again in 1890; Jewish population in 1933: 37
Summary: The earliest record of Jewish settlement in Sprottau (Szprotawa, in today’s Poland) is from the 14th century; by 1380, the town’s few Jewish families lived on the Judengasse (“Jews’ alley”). Sprottau’s medieval Jewish community was eventually expelled, and it was not until the early 19th century that another Jewish presence was established there. By 1825, 27 Jews had settled in Sprottau. Services were conducted in a prayer house (at 15 Juedenstrasse, or “Jews’ street”), and we also know that the town was home to a Jewish school (run out of a private residence) in 1838/39. Other Jewish institutions included a cemetery; consecrated on Kraszewskiego Street in 1881, it contained, among others, the headstones of the Oppenheimer family. The Germans destroyed the cemetery during World War II. In 1933, 37 Jews lived in Sprottau, served by a rabbi from Oels. Four Jewish schoolchildren received religious instruction at secondary schools that year, by which point the Jews of Primkenau (one), Waltersdorf (two) and Kortnitz (four) had been affiliated with the community. On Pogrom Night (November 9/10, 1938), the prayer room was set on fire and Jewish-owned stores were destroyed. In May 1939, only 13 Jews still lived in Sprottau; and in November 1942, that number was two, both of whom were married to Christians. At least five Sprottau Jews perished in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Heidemarie Wawrzyn
Sources: EJL, FJG, YV
Located in: silesia