General information: First Jewish presence: 1812; peak Jewish population: 509 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 850
Summary: The Jewish community of Gross-Strehlitz (Strzelce Opolskie in today’s Poland) grew rapidly during its early days. Members of the new community founded various organizations (a chevra kadisha and a sisterhood, for example) and were active in the town’s social life. In 1850, the community purchased several plots of land near the town’s New Market, where most Jewish-owned businesses were located, and built a synagogue there (presentday 5a Plac Zeromskiego). In 1910, this stone building was renovated, and a two-way staircase to the women’s gallery was added to the interior. The Jewish school was merged with the local school in 1874, and we also know that the cemetery, first used in 1830, was located on the outskirts of town (on the road to Gogolin) and housed a morgue. During the early 20th century, the Jews of Gross-Strehlitz had access to a library, youth clubs and several charities. On Pogrom Night, although the synagogue was emptied and its contents publically burned, the building itself was not burned down because of its proximity to a distillery. Jewish homes and stores were destroyed that night. The synagogue building—it was used as a storage site during and after the war—no longer exists.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Located in: silesia