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Zakopane

Jewish community appeared in at the beginning of the 19 th century. In 1848 2431 Catholics, 4 Lutherans and 15 Jews lived here. Development of the town resulted also in increase of number of Jewish inhabitants. In 1880 there were 84 Jews in the town, in 1900 - 198, in 1910 - 361, in 1921 - 533 and in 1931 - 2900. In 1939 there were approximately 3000 Jews in Zakopane that constituted about 15,5 % of all inhabitants.

Jews occupied mainly with trade, craft, services and tourism accommodation. They were very important town developing factor. They had their own religious and professional organizations as well as sport clubs (like "Makkabi" and "Hagibor"). A great event and holiday for the whole Jewish community was organization of the First Winter World Games "Makkabiada" that took place from the 2 nd till 5 th of February 1933. Few hundreds Jewish sportsmen from all over the world and few thousands visitors participated in it.


Jews were involved also in patriotic celebrations organized in . For example in 1894 on the 100 th anniversary of the Kosciuszko Uprising the whole Jewish community took part with their own standard. In the period between two World Wars every year prayers and services on the names day of Józef Piłsudski and on the Independence Day took place.

The twenties of the 20 th century were the period of dynamic growth of inhabitants of Moses confession in Zakopane. That was the reason for establishing a cemetery. Before this the deceased were buried at the Jewish cemetery in Nowy Targ. That was quite troublesome for local community. Special Committee for Building Cemetery was brought into existence with leadership of doctor Adolf Statter, an owner of ironmongery shop, and doctor Bertold Fass, a lawyer. In 1926 after many troubles an area on Bachledzki Wierch in the east part of Zakopane (situated quite far from the town center) was bought from Franciszek Bachleda Żarski and Anna Bachleda Baca. Unfortunately there were further disturbances in building due to protest of inhabitants of the Bachledy neighborhood and objection of the town authorities. Finally five years later all permissions were gathered and construction was completed.
Ceremonial consecration of the new cemetery took place on Sunday, on the 27 th of December 1931. According to "Nowy Dziennik" (a newspaper published in Krakow ) in the synagogue almost all Jews from Zakopane gathered as well as many of temporary visitors including rabbi of Katowice doctor Chamajdes. There were also present representatives of Zakopane authorities: mayor Leopold Winnicki, vice-mayor Jan Jacina, prefect Skalecki, director of Podhalański Bank and chairman of Highlander Sociaty Wojciech Krzeptowski, chairman of Merchant's Congregation Antoni Krzyżak, town architect engineer Adam Hełm-Pirgo, superintendent Gawlik, alderman Stanisław Niemczyk.

Foreword was spoken by doctor Adolf Statter who thanked authorities for their favorable attitude and permission for building of cemetery. Prayers were said by hazzan of Zakopane mister Muller. After that rabbi Eliasz Eichenstein defined ritual meaning of cemetery and asked for support for Committee for Building Synagogue. In conclusion hazzan Leser from Nowy Targ said service in memory of the president of Republic of Poland and marshal Józef Piłsudski. After service all guests went by sledge to the new cemetery. There prayers took place after which the whole area was walked round seven times according to the tradition. Doctor Bertold Fass thanked again town authorities for their support. Then director Wojciech Krzeptowski and superintendent Gawlik expressed their satisfaction about opening cemetery and emphasized that in the face of death all people are equal.

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