General information: First Jewish presence: mid- 17th century; peak Jewish population: 217 in 1812; Jewish population in 1933: 29
Summary: During the second half of the 17th century, only one Jew was officially permitted to live in Festenberg (present-day Twardogóra, Poland), where he sold brandies and other spirits. An official Jewish community formed there in the mid-18th century, around which time Festenberg became a popular destination for Jews who had been driven out of Breslau. Festenberg’s earl, believing that Jews would develop the economy of his region, encouraged Jewish settlement. Most Jews were merchants, and several were traveling musicians. The Jewish cemetery, which was used by several other communities, was consecrated soon after the community was founded. Local Jews also established a synagogue, located in a rented home, and, in 1845, a school; the latter, however, was closed at the end of the century for lack of students. The Jewish population of Festenberg dropped steadily during the early 20th century. During the pogrom of the night between November 9 and 10, 1938, the synagogue and three remaining Jewish-owned stores were destroyed. Fifteen Festenberg Jews perished in the Shoah.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Sources: EJL, LJG, YV www.sztetl.org.pl
Located in: silesia