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Małopolska Jews’ Culture Route

Małopolska Jews’ Culture Route

Synagoga w Oświęcimiu
For more than seven centuries, the Jews in large numbers have lived the areas of present-day Małopolska, creating the unique cultural landscape of the region.
For morethan seven centuries, the Jews in large numbers have lived the areas of present-dayMałopolska, creating the unique cultural landscape of the region. In Krakow,the first Polish Talmudic school had been founded, which was the beginning ofthe golden age of the Jewish culture in Poland. Thanks to the great Rabbis suchas Rabbi Moshe Isserles, whose name was given to the synagogue open until todayor the eminent Kabbalist Nathan Nata Spira, buried at the nearby Old Cemetery, Krakowbecame the centre of Jewish spirituality not only for Poland but also for alarge part of Europe. The central location of Małopolska between the influencesof the East and of the West formed a unique compilation. On one hand, in thecentres in Bobowa or Nowy Sącz, thanks to the Tzadiks from the Halberstamdynasty, the Hasidic movement developed dynamically. On the other hand, inlarger towns like Tarnów and Krakow, monumental Jewish temples, originating inReform Judaism, were built next to the Orthodox synagogues. In the area of Małopolska,the history also left the trace of its most tragic page which the Holocaustundoubtedly was. The Museum in Oświęcim, in the area of the Auschwitz-BirkenauComplex – the largest death camp, is a terrifying testimony of crime thataffected the Jews in a particular way. However, we should remember that in Małopolskathere are not only historic Jewish cemeteries, unique on a Polish and European scale,but also open synagogues – the life of Jewish communities still goes on here.

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