Tag Archives: Synagogue

Synagogues in Poland

Jewish Poland

synagogue poland

The synagogue in Schneidemuehl, now, Piła, Wielkpolskie, Poland, c.1905. It was destroyed by fire during the Nazi pogrom of 9th/10th November 1938.

Three old images from our archive of now lost Synagogues in present-day Poland. All three were once in areas, which were part of Germany until 1945. All three were destroyed by the Nazis during the pogroms of November 1938.

synagog poland

The synagog in Gruenberg, Silesia, now, Zielona Gora, Lubuskie, Poland, c.1905. This Synagogue was burnt down on Crystal Night, the 10th November, 1938.

Information on and images of former synagogues in present-day Poland:
- A Synagogue in Bialsko-Biala.
- A Synagogue in Grajewo.
- A Synagogue in Katowice.
- The Old Synagogue in Krakow.
- The ‘New’ Synagogue in Poznan (Posen) in Greater Poland.
- The Synagogue in Wolsztyn.
- A Synagogue in Lodz.
- A Synagogue in Warsaw.
- The conversion of the Synagogue in Miedzryzecz.

polish synagogue

An early 1900s image of the synagogue in Koeslin, Pommern, now, Koszalin, Poland. It was built to the ground on Kristallnacht in November 1938.

Related content on Polish Poland:
- A little-known and relatively well preserved Jewish cemetery in Poland.

Synagogue Conversion

A former Synagogue transformed in to a Chinese Shop

synagogue poland

Three photographs of what was the pre-war synagogue for the town of Meseritz (Miedzyrzecz) in Lubuskie, western Poland. It has recently been transformed into a Chinski Sklep (a shop selling all manner of cheap imports from China).

Synagogue miedzyrzecz

A closeup of the exterior of the former Synagogue, now the ‘Wielki Chinski Sklep’.

The synagogue in Miedzyrzecz was built between 1825 and 1827, on the site of an earlier synagogue, and served the Jewish population of the town. It went out of use as a place of worship around 1940 and was used as a storeroom until the end of the war. In 1945 the building was nationalized and used for a variety of uses before falling in to a state of disrepair. In the 1990s there was some extended discussion of the building being used as a Jewish museum but unfortunately this never materialised. It was sold to a private entrepreneur about ten years ago. Following which it was extensively renovated with the aim of using the space for office or retail purposes. It is now in use as a Chinese Shop selling everything from clothing to toys.

synagogue synagoge

The only visible sign that this was once a place of worship for the Jewish population of Meseritz / Miedzyrzecz.

See also: Pre-war images of the Synagogue in Meseritz / Miedzyrzecz.

Synagogue in Grajewo

Synagogue Grajewo Poland

The synagogue in Grajewo, Poland, on a picture postcard mailed in 1916. Click on image to enlarge.

An old photographic postcard of Rudzka Street (now Wojska Polskiego) in Grajewo. The synagogue is on the right. Like many other Jewish centres Grajewo’s synagogue (and several Jewish homes) was partly destroyed in the first few days of the Second World War. The building was however rebuilt and today serves as the house of culture and cinema for the town.

Grajewo is a town in north-eastern Poland with a population of just over 23,000. It is situated in the Podlaskie Voivodeship.

synagog Grajewo

The Synagogue in Kattowitz / Katowice

Synagogue Katowice Kattowitz

Click on the above image of the Great Synangogue to enlarge picture to view more detail. This postcard is from 1911.

The Great Synagogue was the largest synagogue in Katowice (Kattowitz). It was built in 1900 and designed by Ignatz Gruenfeld. The synagogue was set on fire and destroyed on the 4th September 1939.

On the spot where this building once stood there is now an area named Synagogue Square with a monument to the Jewish inhabitants of Katowice who perished during the Second World War.

Katowice is a city in Upper Silesia in the south of Poland, on the Klodnica and Rawa rivers (tributaries of the Oder and the Vistula respectively).

See also: Information on and old pre-war images of Kattowitz / Katowice.

A Synagogue in Lodz

Lodz Synagogue Poland

An old picture postcard of the Old Town in Lodz with market and synagogue prominent. Posted 1916.

This synagogue on ulica Wolborska was designed by architect Jan Karol Mertsching in 1860 and work completed by 1863. It replaced an older wooden synagogue on the same street. The whole synagogue, with all its interior fixtures and Torah scrolls, was destroyed by fire during the night of 15th – 16th November 1939. One wall that still stood after the fire was shot to pieces by gunfire in April 1940. The site is now taken up by a block of flats (apartments).

The Synagogue in Warsaw

Warsaw synagogue

An old picture postcard of the Synagogue in Warsaw, c.1917.

The Great Synagogue on Tlomackie Street in Warsaw, Poland, as it looked in 1917. Click on image to enlarge.

Great Synagogue of Warsaw was one of the finest buildings built in Poland in the 19th century and at the time of its opening was the largest synagogue in the world.

The Synagogue was built by the Warsaw’s Jewish community between 1875 and 1878 and was blown-up after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on 16th May 1943 by the SS. A skyscraper built in the 1980s now stands on the site.

Great Synagogue

Pictures of the Great Synagogue after its destruction in 1943 by SS-Gruppenführer Jürgen Stroop acting on the orders of Himmler and Hitler.

Interesting fact: Warsaw once had a Jewish population equal to the number of Jews living in all of France.

Bielsko-Biala Synagogue

Bielsko-Biała poland

A photograph of the synagogue in Bielsko (Bielitz), Poland, c.1900.

In 1910 Bialsko was home to almost 4,000 Jews. Around 16% of the town’s population. In the summer of 1941 a Jewish ghetto was established in Bielsko. It was dissolved in June 1942 during when all the Jewish inhabitants of the ghetto were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp where most perished.

Bielsko-Biala is a city in southern Poland in the Silesian Province. It is located 60 kms south of Katowice, 69 kms south-west of Krakow. The town was for much of its history two separate towns located on opposite banks of the Biała River (white river). In 1951 Bialsko was joined with Biała Krakowska to form the new town of Bielsko-Biała. The western part of the combined town of today is former Bielsko (Bielitz).

Don’t miss our page on 1970s Bialsko-Biala.

The Old Synagogue Krakow

old synagogue krakow

A photograph of Orthodox Jews outside the ‘Old’ Synagogue in Krakow, Poland, c.1911.

Three archive images of the old Synagogue (Stara Synagoga) in the Kazimierz district of Krakow, Małopolskie, Poland.

synagog krakow

Another vintage photograph of what is known as the Old Synagogue in Poland.

The Old Synagogue in what was at the centre of the Jewish quarter of Krakow was built in 1570 on the site of an even older synagogue. Making this synagogue the oldest synagogue still in existence within the borders of Poland.

Old Synagogue Cracow / Krakow, Poland

The Old Synagogue in Cracow / Krakow, Poland, c.1918.

Some things you may not know about the Old Synagogue and synagogs in Krakow:
- The design of the Old Synagogue is of the type known as a Polish Fortress synagogue.
- In 1775 Tadeusz Kosciuszko gave a speech to the Jewish community in this synagogue encouraging them to join in the fight for the freedom of Poland.
- This fine synagogue was extensively damaged by the Germans during the Second World War, and, after renovation in the 1950s, has since 1961 served as a Jewish museum, known as the ‘Museum of the History and Culture of the Jews’.
- Before World War Two there were around one hundred synagogues within the city of Krakow serving a Jewish community of approximately 70,000.
- The Old Synagogue is just one of several surviving synagogues in Krakow. Others include: the Izaak Jakubowicz Synagogue, Tempel Synagogue, Wolf Popper Synagogue, High Synagogue. There are currently two active synagogues in present-day Krakow: Remuh Synagogue and Kupa Synagogue.

Use the interactive map below to explore the various sights around the Kazimierz area and wider Krakow.

Related content on Polish Poland:
- The synagogue in Wollstein / Wolsztyn.
- An index page of various synagogues in Poland.

The Synagogue in Posen / Poznan

synagogue poznan

The ‘New’ Synagogue in Poznan (Posen) as it looked not long after it was built in 1908.

Four images of the ‘New Synagogue’ in Poznan (Posen), Wielkopolskie, western Poland.

synagoge poznan poland

A early ‘Tucks’ picture postcard of the New Synagoge in Poznan, Poland, c.1909.

The early history of the ‘New’ Synagogue in Poznan, Poland.
- The New Syangogue replaced three earlier synagogues, which had fallen in to disrepair.
- The New Synagogue’s foundation stone was laid in May 1906.
- The opening ceremony of the synagogue took place on the 5th of September 1907.

synagog poznan

A vintage image of the New Synagogue in Poznan (Posen), Poland, c.1918.

The wartime history of the New Synagogue:
- Early in the Second World War the synagogue was converted into an indoor swimming pool for the soldiers of the Wehrmacht, who in the process completely destroyed the interior and demolished the dome.

synagogue posen poznan

An old photograph of the ‘New’ Synagogue in Poznan (Posen), Poland, c.1919.

The post-war building:
- The former ‘New’ Synagogue continued to be used a swimming pool until the late 1990s.
- The building was given to the Jewish Religious Community of Poland in 2002. Who at present have some plans to restore the building to something resembling to its prewar appearance and turn it into a centre of Judaism and Tolerance.
- There is some controversy over what should happen to the synagogue. Some individuals have asserted that it should be completely demolished as the building of this synagogue was in some way originally part of the German policy of Kulturkampf, the aim of which was to limit the influence of Polishness and Catholicism in Poznan.

Related content on Polish Poland: old images of pre-war Poznan / Posen.

A Synagogue in Poland

Wolsztyn synagogue poland

An early 1900s image of the centre of Wolsztyn (Wollstein), The synagogue is on the right.

Some archive photographs of a synagogue in the small town of Wolsztyn (Wollstein) in the west of Poland.

Wolsztyn synagogue synagog poland

Another photographic view of the Jewish synagogue in Wolsztyn, c.1916.

The synagogue in Wolsztyn was built in 1842 and extensively renovated in 1896. It served the diminishing Jewish population of the town until 1939 when it went completely out of use. During the war it suffered some damage and was converted in to a cinema when the war ended. It continued as the ‘Tatry’ cinema until the end of the communist period.

wolsztyn synagogue synagog

The former synagogue in Wolsztyn in Poland. After the war it was converted in to a cinema. This image from 1967.

In the late 1990s, the synagogue building was claimed by the Poznan Jewish community, who then sold it to a private investor, who planned to convert it in to a shopping centre. However, the building burnt down under mysterious circumstances at the end of last year (2009) and is no more.

There are some plans to rebuild some sort of commercial property on the site, perhaps incorporating a frontage in the style of the original synagog.

Related content on Polish Poland: old pre-war images of Wollstein / Wolsztyn.