Wieliczka

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WIELICZKA

WIELICZKA , town in Cracow province, S. Poland, in the historic region of *Lesser Poland. Rights to exploit the celebrated salt mines in Wieliczka were leased by Jews, including Saul *Wahl, from the 14th to the end of the 18th century. However, an organized Jewish community was established there only in the second half of the 19th century. The Jewish population numbered 614 in 1890, 981 (15.5% of the total) in 1900, and 1,700 in 1921.

[Abraham N. Poliak]

Holocaust Period

On the outbreak of World War ii there were about 1,300 Jews in Wieliczka. The Germans occupied the town on Sept. 7, 1939. In summer 1942 the Jews from the whole county were concentrated in Wieliczka. The Jewish community was liquidated on Aug. 27, 1942, when 8,000 Jews from Wieliczka and its vicinity were deported to *Belzec death camp, 500 to Stalowa-Wola forced labor camp, and 200 to Plaszow concentration camp. After the war the Jewish community of Wieliczka was not reconstituted.