Like in many similar cities and towns in Poland, the first Jewish settlers appeared here in the XVth century. As time passed by, the group of Jewish residents developed into a full-fledged Jewish community with the Great Synagogue and up to 20 smaller houses of prayer, a ritual bath (mikveh) and a cemetery, a number of industrial enterprises and an elaborated system of political parties. Shortly before WWII the number of Jewish residents in the town made up 60% of the whole population. During the Holocaust 99% of the Jewish inhabitants have been exterminated, which marked the decay of Oświęcim’s Jewish community. One of the few traces left in the town is the Jewish cemetery. Having been completely destroyed under the Nazi occupation, it was restored and renovated in the 1980s and now is one of the best preserved objects of this kind in the Małopolska region (Lesser Poland). The workshop enables the participants to get a glimpse of the Jewish burial traditions, learn more about the Jewish gravestone (matsevah) symbolism and decipher the Hebrew inscriptions. What is more, the workshop gives the marvelous possibility to touch upon the culture of the Polish Jews through the traces left.
- 15 +
- 2-2,5 hours