General information: First Jewish presence: 1773; peak Jewish population: 236 in 1880; Jewish population in 1933: 83
Summary: Jews settled in Cosel (Koźle in today’s Poland) in the mid- 18th century. By 1796, they had established a prayer room. Cosel became an independent Jewish community in 1820. In 1821, the congregation acquired a building at 28 Malze Street (present-day Sienkiewicza Street) and established a synagogue on its second floor. This arrangement sufficed until 1872, when a new property was purchased at Raciborski Square (present-day 24 Kwietna Street). The new synagogue, a brick building, was consecrated on September 10, 1886; it housed an apartment for the rabbi, and was built in the Neo-Roman style, with an octagonal tower and a round cupola. In Cosel, the Jewish Foundation established a community center and a nursing home. We also know that local Jews used the cemetery in nearby Debova (consecrated in 1814), and that a morgue was built there in 1822. Beginning in 1937, local Jewish children were forbidden from attending public schools. On Pogrom Night, SA men threw grenades into the synagogue, after which they burned down the building. The remaining Jews were forced to live in the morgue until their deportation. As of this writing, the synagogue site accommodates a hospital.
Photo: The synagogue of Cosel. Courtesy of: Michael Manka/
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Sources: EJL, LJG
Located in: silesia