Skip to main content

Oswiecim

OSWIECIM

OSWIECIM (Ger. Auschwitz ), town in S. Poland and site of the notorious death camp. In the Middle Ages it was the capital of the duchy of that name, which in 1457 was purchased by Poland. Fairs, which attracted widespread interest, were held there in the 16th century. That Jews were living in Oswiecim as early as 1563 is attested by a charter of privileges granted by King Sigismund ii Augustus which denied them residence rights near the marketplace or in the main streets and barred new Jewish settlers from the city. In 1564, when the Oswiecim regional council was undergoing reorganization, the Jews declared to the authorities concerned that the city had been inhabited by Jews since its foundation. In 1588 the community built a synagogue on grounds acquired from a burgher and established a cemetery. The transaction was confirmed by the royal chancellery. The Jews in Oswiecim suffered severely during the war between Sweden and Poland, 1656–58. Twenty houses are recorded in Jewish ownership in 1666, the number being equally small in the 18th century. According to a census of 1765 there were 133 Jewish residents. The community (kahal) of Oswiecim, whose jurisdiction extended over all the Jewish population in the area of the former duchy, had a membership of 862. In matters of Jewish communal administration it was subordinate to the kahal of Cracow. In 1773 Oswiecim came under Austrian rule. The tax levied on the community was so high that for a considerable time it was unable to meet its obligations. Two synagogues in Oswiecim, among other buildings, were destroyed by a fire in 1863. The last Austrian census in 1910 records 3,000 Jews residing in Oswiecim. The number had increased to 4,950 in 1921 (40.3% of the total population). The community was destroyed in World War ii. For details of that period, see *Auschwitz.

bibliography:

M. Berson, Dyplomataryusz (1910), 69; M. Balinski and T. Lipinski, Starożytna Polska, 2 (1843); S.A. Bershadski, Russko-Yevreyskiy Arkhiv, 3 (1903), 228–30; M. Balaban, Dzieje żydów w Galicji (1914), index.

[Mark Wischnitzer]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Oswiecim." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Jun. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oswiecim." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 17, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswiecim

"Oswiecim." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved June 17, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/oswiecim

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.