General information: First Jewish presence: 1660; peak Jewish population: 271 in 1864; Jewish population in 1933: 48
Summary: Jewish merchants, compelled to wear an identifying red patch, are thought to have lived in Gruenberg (present-day Zielona Góra, Poland) on a temporary basis before 1660. In 1812, Jews gained equal residency rights, after which, in 1814, a Jewish cemetery was consecrated on Breslauer Strasse. Beginning in 1816, services were conducted in a rented prayer room on Fleischerstrasse; thirty years later, still forbidden from founding a congregation or inaugurating a proper synagogue, Gruenberg Jews moved to a larger facility on Niederstrasse. Finally, in 1883, three years after gaining independence from Jewish congregation in Glogau, the Gruenberg Jews built a grand synagogue on Glaserplatz. Jewish-Christian relations were often tense in Gruenberg. Wilhelm Levyson, a local Jew, launched Gruenberg’s first newspaper; his sons later founded a liberal German newspaper, the Berliner Tageblatt. The Jewish population of Gruenberg dwindled during the early 20th century. Accordingly, the school was closed in 1920 and the rabbi’s responsibilities were transferred to an official from Glogau. The synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night; Jewish stores were vandalized. Gruenberg Jews were dispossessed of their properties, and those who did not manage to escape in time were later deported.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Sources EJL, LJG
Located in: silesia