History of the Town of Myslowice

Transcribed by Wolfgang Weissler, 6 Oct 2023.


Prakt. Doctors in Myslovice, Knight of the Imperial Russian Order of St. Stanislaus Third Class, full member of the Society for History and Antiquity of Silesia.

From page 315

On the opposite side:

“Cast by H.P.Liebold in Gnadenfeld.” (The bell had cracked)

At the top all around:

“I call to devotion, awaken the joy and voice to suffering”

3. The Little Bell

On the coat:

“Quis sicuti Dominus Deus noster qui in altis habitat. Who is, like our Lord and God, who dwells in the highest.”

Opposite this inscription is the image of the Virgin Mary with the signature:

Sub tuum praesidium. Under your protection”

On the coat to the right of the first writing:

“Per illustris Adem. Reve. Do.D.D. Joanni Krupski Praeposit. :myslowiceusis. A.D. 1778. The illustrious, very revered Mr. Johann Krupski, Provost of M. In the year of the Lord 1778.”

On the top edge:

“Laudate Dominum in sanctis ejus: Laudate ejum in cimbalis bene sonantobus, Laudate in cimbalis jubilantibus: Psalmo 150. Praise the Lord in his sanctuary: Praise him with bright-sounding cymbals: Praise him with joyful cymbals!”

4. The death bell

“Joannes Krupski Prepositus. Mysl. 1774. Joh. Krupski, Provost of Myslowitz. 1774.”

Compared to the former scripture:

“Ora pro nobis St.Barbara da nobis auxilium. Pray for us, Saint Barbara, help us!”

On the coat:

The Passion of Christ.

“Jezu Nazarenus rex Judiorum miserere. Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, have mercy!”

At the top:

“Subvenitate sancti Die occurite angeli Domini. Come to the aid of God’s saints! Hurry up, you angels of the Lord!”

In the sacristy:

“For King and Fatherland, Frz. Mroczek from Myslovice died 19/2 1814 at Jeanvillers, Woitek Kudera desgl. Den 18/9 1815 bei Iffo.”

Jewish community.

Although the assumption that the Jews of the local area, or the local place, come from Poland, is very obvious, this does not really seem to be the case, because according to a document from 1421 (dipl. Contributions I. p.72) already had Jews and Pachalh praises (p.120) the very liberal legislation of Duke Bolfo I of Świdnica v.J. 1295 and Duke Henry III of Glogau of 1299, in which the latter gave the Jews (dipl. Beitr. VI., p.187) the rights already made with his forefather’s times are confirmed. According to Stenzel (p.199), Jews have been in Silesia since the earliest times. Like the Poles, they were very favoured here and already owned land and estates at the beginning of the 13th century. Biermann (Gesch. des Herzogth. Teschen, S89) says: “The Jews are commemorated sxchon in the oldest Silesian documents, they appear as owners of land which they cultivated, and for which they paid interest and tithes; so it says in a document dated 2 / 3 1226: the Jews, wherever they lead the plough in the fort of Beuthen, have to pay the full tithe.” This shows that long before the immigration in Poland of the Jews expelled from Spain in the 15th century, such Jews already existed in Silesia. In the case of Myslovitz it might nevertheless seem credible that the local Jews immigrated from Poland, because of the location of the place directly on the border, because of the very close relations in which Myslovitz had always stood with Poland, finally because of the large number of Jews in Poland, which made a withdrawal to the outside world natural; nevertheless, it can be seen below that other Jews, not only originally Polish, also lived here. Since Jews have been noticeable here, news about them is not uncommon, because they intervene strongly in traffic, especially those families  who have leased the manorial Arende (note: Arende is a Russian term for “lease”), one of the most frequented places in the city; it is only to be regretted that they did not yet have family names at that time,  which makes it very difficult, sometimes impossible, although not always without interest, to trace the history of individual families.

The oldest record of a Jew in M. is from 1654, when a certain Zelek is described as the owner of a stately beer and brandy bar. The fact that Jews lived in this place long before this time can be assumed from the above. 1675 17 / 7 is called “Izrael Zyd Markowicz Arendarz gorzalczany Myslowski, Israel the Jew Markowicz, Myslovice Brandweinarendenpättel”; he had the manorial Arende in lease. In addition to him, Jacob Maier or Mairowicz, Marek Moizeszowicz and Jonas still exist here around this time. Maier and Jonas were grocers, Marek Fleischer. To the surrounding area are called Jac. Ead in Sielce, Jac. Maierowcz in Chorzów, Moizesz Jakubowic, Arendator in Tychy. The Jews also seem to have been involved in the operation of ironworks. 1655 8 / 1 also in 1677 28 / 1 there is a mention of “Kuznica Mertkowa, Mertka’s Hammer”, which must have been in the vicinity of M. In any case, Mertka means the same thing as Mortka, but the latter is the customary, Polish one. Expression for the Jewish name Mardachai. Probably the owner or tenant of the hut bore this name, which the hut has also received. The Jews, as already mentioned, had no epithets at that time and were only called by their first names. The epithet was represented by the father’s name, such as Jacob Maier above. Usually, however, the suffix owic or owicz, which means son, was added to the father’s name, e.g. Markowicz, Markussohn as above; Maierowicz, son of Maiers. Where there is a special epithet, it seems to have been just a kind of nickname, as above Gad, which means creeping animal, reptile.

On June 25, 1680, the following decree of the then owner of the Mieroszowski district was made known to the city:

“Miasteczku Mayslowiczom ex PersonaJureqne meo deklauie ze iako wszedzie Zydzi y zawsze do szadu y Jurysdictiey Mieiskiey nienalezam als do Zamkowey y Pana Gruntu tak ktoby kolwiek Mial czo skarzycz na Zyda przy Myslowiczach a dzialu Moim Mieskaiaczego tedy przyminie a Jurisdictiey moiey anie gdzie indziey zalobe swaprzedniescz powinien y wszadzie moim sprawiedliwego decretn oczekowacz. Signatum 19 June ao 1680. Jan Mieroszewski Zmieroszewicz. S. SS. (Sedzia y Starosta Siewierski) mpp.

To the town of Myslovitz I declare from my person and my right, that, as everywhere and always the Jews do not belong to the court and jurisdiction of the city, but to that of the castle and the landlord, so whoever would have to complain against a Jew who lives with M. and my face, for he is bound to me and my jurisdiction and not to bring his complaints elsewhere and to make a just decision in my court to be expected. Signed the 19th of June in the year 1680. Mieroszewski von Mieroszwicz, judge and castle captain von Siewier himself.”

Even before this decree, jurisdiction was exercised by the manor, as can be seen from a hearing of 18 / 6 1679, where Jacob Maier had to submit to the council guarantor because of a debt he owed to a Rhibor citizen and ribbon maker (sznurkarka), presumably for goods taken for trade, which was ordered by order of the landlady Agnes Mierosz. and not, as usual, from the Rath’s own perfection of power. On the other hand, however, the above decree is a proof that the council did indeed exercise jurisdiction over the Jews in the past, which, by the way, almost always happened later, since the exercise of this prerogative hardly entered the landlord much, but made many circumstances; nextly, the Meuse rule was not a perfect one, as long as the owner of the other part of the city did not join it.

On 13 / 1 1683, by order of the lord of the manor Joh. Mieroß the gentlemen Jews, – otherwise they are usually called the unbelieving (niewierni, lat. Infideles) – summoned before the mayor Kudera, namely Salomon and Jonas Lewek and Marek the butcher, at least the above-mentioned Moizeszowicz, they would like to comply with the contract of 1682, according to which they would have undertaken to pay each for his person a red guilder (ducat). This is certainly the protective ducats, which were also levied elsewhere, which the Jews had to pay to the landlord for permission to live in any place, a levy of which is mentioned only once. The lordly tenant of the arena is not called upon, because as such he will have been exempted from the tax.

1691 21 / 3 is mentioned for the first time “Zyd Salamon Arendarz, the Jew Salomon, Brandy Arendator”, a man who enjoyed a special reputation here not only among the Jews, among whom he distinguished himself very favorably, but also among the citizens, who is one of the most remarkable personalities in the history of the place. He was a real citizen, owner of many plots of land, and kept a very large number of servants. In 1698 he was among the auditors of the annual accounts, an award that would otherwise hardly have happened to any Jew. It is curious that he signs himself Jewish under the audit protocol, since it can be assumed that he was also familiar with the Polish letter. His nickname was Markowicz, his ancestors came from Prague. He was still alive in 1714.

The local Jews must have already formed a kind of community at this time, because on 5 / 12 1687 there is talk of the swearing-in of a Jewish woman “przed zydowskim prawem, before Jewish law,” (probably the law rolls), but it can be assumed that they visited the synagogue in Bedzin, with which they socialized a lot, on larger festivals, and also used the burial ground there. This is explicitly mentioned by the Beuthner Jews in an old bendzin writing, where the local (benz.) Pastor Joh. Kotulecki against the Jewish community for various administrative offenses in the nineties of the 17th century. Judaeos axtraneos partim ex Regno, partim ex Silesia sine scitu Actoris non solutis funebralibus sepelire ausi sunt, sie (die benz. Jews) have dared to bury foreign Jews, partly from the Reich (Poland), partly from Silesia, without the knowledge of the plaintiff and without having paid the funeral fees (probably a levy to the priest).” From the burial place itself in 1588 15 poln. “Od kierowa Zidowskie o platu za rok przesli gr. 15., from the Jewish cemetery for the past year (1588) 15 gr. interest.” (Bendzin. Writings). In another passage of that writing it says: “Cadavera tam snorum coincolarum Bendzinensium, quam Bythomiensinm ad suam synagogam pertinentium, the corpses of both their Bendzin compatriots and those belonging to their synagogue.” If, however, the Jews of Beuthn, who were certainly much more numerous, joined the Bendzin community, this is all the more to be assumed of the few families in Myslovitz, since the distance between the two places is even smaller here than there, and the local Jews were far less able to form an independent community than the Beuthners. It is still remarkable that in 1694 the priest Nikol. Zezokowicz from Grojec, who is also called Provost of M., are among the commissaries appointed by the Bishop of Kraków to settle the dispute.

I would like to share here an oath of Jewry from that time, which stands out from those later decreed by the legislatures because of its brevity. On 10 / 11 1692, a Jew from Krakow applied to the Rath for an oath interrogation of the local Jews Sal. Markowicz and Jonas Jakubowic on whether they know anything about a certain Lewek Izraeliewicz, Latin syndic (?) and Lewek Jelenek. The oath reads as follows: “Ja Salomon Markowic, Jonas Jakubowic przysiegam Bogu wszechmogacemu ktory siworzel niebo y ziemie y co jest nad niebem y pod ziemiam y dziesienciorgu Bozemu Przykazaniu ktore nam dal przez Moisesa na Gorze Sinai isz otych zydach wysz pomienionych nie wiemy y nie slychalismy. I Sa. Markov., Jon. Jakub. Swear to Almighty God, who created heaven and earth, and what is above heaven and under the earth, and the tithe commandments of God which he gave us through Moses on Mount Sinai, that we do not know and have not heard of the above-mentioned Jews.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the community must have become independent, because it had a burial ground, as evidenced by the oldest of the still existing funeral stones of the same, which according to the Jewish calendar of the year (5)482, i.e. now 145 years old. This stone is certainly also one of the oldest of the burial plate, which has been extended several times, as it stands in the corner where the first burials took place. Although the number of local Jews at this time could hardly have been greater than at the end of the 17th century, if they were already constituted as a community, this could have been caused by the plague prevailing in Poland in the 1st and 2nd decades of the 18th century and the barrier rules applied against it (p. 122).  otherwise it would have been much easier for them to join the community in Modrzejow, which was due at the same time as the age of the burial ground there, on which the oldest of the surviving funeral stones from the year (5)474, i.e. now 153 years old, is known. This also coincides with the time of Modrzejow’s creation.

A synagogue (buznica), which, however, will have existed only in a prayer room, as was the case much later, is mentioned on the occasion of the swearing-in of a Jew on 31 / 8 1751. In 1767, the community, which was still very insignificant at the time, had a rabbi named Abr. Moises.

The following letter dated 10 / 4 1747 proves that the Jews also had their own jurisdiction under them at this time. (From Polish): Mr. Wulf (wolf?) and elder in your court, i.e.dem Jewish. We expressly write to you from our famous mayor’s and bailiwick’s office that Jakub Kolma told us before us on Ersla Kuczema, the butcher, that he owes him 4 Thlr. for a cow that owes 4 Thlr. He hasn’t killed yet. Therefore, we grant them a little delay until next Wednesday, until April 18, and ask you to take such Ersla Kuczma in your oath and if he does not swear, he would like to pay the Jew Jakub Kolma there with you, he would like to compensate for the damage, omission and give us news of your court,  since we are always commanded and obliged to pay what someone owes to the other. In communicating this, we are forever in favour of your official person (urzedowa osoba). Elf. Zucha, mayor with the present lords sworn.” – 1748 11/7 “na sad zydowski, to the Jewish court,” so explicitly mentioned. That court, as is apparent from the same hearing, had only arbitral power. The most frequently mentioned families are Jakob Psarski, usually Jac. Semelowic, Szymunowic (Simonssohn), ancestor of the Danuiger family, first mentioned in 1713 13 / 7 and since 1715 successor Sal. Markowicz’s in the arendenpacht, later in possession of the so-called Kork’schen Haus (Ring No 18), as well as various plots of land – and the Kuczma family, 6 / 5 mentioned for the first time in 1727, takes the name Fischer at the end of the last century and is mostly engaged in slaughter.

The fact that the Jews came closer to their Christian fellow citizens is proved by the conversion of a Jewish woman to the Christian religion, which is mentioned in 20 / 2 1739.

How, on the other hand, the Orthodox religious concepts on both sides were harshly opposed to each other is shown by a trial negotiated on the same date, in which the arendator Jac. Simon accuses Regina Kuczera of having told his son that he was attending the spinning evenings (przadki) at Mrs. Postawik’s house and had said that he would be baptized if Kuznierz’s daughter wanted to marry him. The testimony results in a not entirely unfounded gossip, with even the lady of the manor involved. Noteworthy is the statement of a witness: “Zyd krzcony a wilk howany to jest jedno, a baptized Jew and a tamed wolf are one.” The Kuczera is finally condemned. – 1743 11 / 3 there is the first German signature of a Jew, the Potaschsieder from Janow, who signs himself under the Polish trial Simon Samuel.

The reign of Frederick the Great. He paid special attention to the Jews, who admittedly did not welcome them, and when Böhme in his didl. Beitr. IV page 187 says: Laws which were more appropriate to the purpose of the common connection of men among themselves than those in the following times, which in our days (he wrote in the seventies of the last century) raging intolerance were written down with a bloody pen,” he may well have expressed himself not without regard to this. The decrees concerning Jews are extremely frequent and relate mainly to the detention of foreign, especially Polish Jews. As in all circumstances, the Prussian government demanded a very special explanation and proof of the local Jews, which is given under July 10, 1744, as follows:

(From Polish.)