General information: First Jewish presence: 1742; peak Jewish population: 128 in 1861; Jewish population in 1933: 42
Summary: Jews hoping for better treatment under Prussian rule first settled in Carlsruhe (Pokoj in today’s Poland) after the Silesian war of 1742. Once there, they found that the city authorities not only exploited Jews by forcing them to pay exorbitant taxes, but also harassed them with ever-changing residency laws. Nevertheless, the community managed to consecrate a cemetery as early as 1780 (at the edge of the forest on Kolejowa Street). At its peak, the community made up 5% of the total population and operated a school (41 students). Services were conducted in a private residence, where a prayer room had been established, until 1864, when the community built a proper synagogue (next to the rabbi’s house) on present-day 3 Maia Street. We also know that in 1872, the Association of Synagogue Communities of Upper Silesia, of which Carlsruhe was a member, was formed. The synagogue was burned down on Pogrom Night; the remains of the structure were later demolished. Although most local Jews had already emigrated by then, their empty homes and businesses were destroyed. As of this writing the former synagogue site was being used as a lawn.
Author / Sources: Ruth Martina Trucks
Located in: Silesia