Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance

In February 2016 we are opening the doors of a new branch of the Museum in Gliwice, located in the restored Jewish Funeral Home at 14 Księcia Józefa Poniatowskiego Street. The Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance, as the museum’s fifth branch has been named, was conceived by the Mayor of the city, and is financed by the Gliwice city budget.

History of the Building

The structure was built as a funeral home near the new Jewish cemetery, created in 1902–1903. It was designed by Max Fleischer, a famous architect from Vienna, in accordance with the religious strictures governing those places where the body is prepared for its final journey. The Julius Scheer building company from Gliwice did the actual construction. The opening of the cemetery and the funeral home took place on November 15, 1903.

The building consisted of three main parts: the central prayer hall, which led directly to the cemetery; the mortuary, where the deceased were prepared for burial in accordance with the strictures of the Jewish faith; and the guard’s residence.

The cemetery and the building served their original functions until World War II, during which the building served as a military storehouse. Both survived intact, and after 1945 the cemetery and funeral home were used by the Jewish Community in Gliwice, with a custodian’s apartment in the wing section. Over time the building fell into disuse, and then into ruin.

In 2003 the site was inscribed in the monument registry, and in 2007 the Jewish Community transferred it to the city of Gliwice. In 2012 the mayor of the city made the decision to restore the old Jewish funeral home and transform it into a branch of the Museum in Gliwice, bearing the name “Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance.” The revitalization of the heritage site was fully financed by the Gliwice city budget.

Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance

The mission of the new branch of the Museum in Gliwice is to study and commemorate the history of the Jews in Upper Silesia, from the Middle Ages to the present day. It is also a space for dialogue among various cultures, religions, and nations—a venue for meetings and debates on the history and relationships between the many societies that once inhabited these lands.

Our work is to gather and provide access to the material heritage of the Jews in Upper Silesia; in the near future we will be opening a permanent historical exhibition on the subject.

Our educational program supplements school curriculum on the history of the region, and also features attractions for parents accompanying their children. The House of Remembrance takes in volunteers and anyone who wishes to join in the building of an institution open to dialogue.

In considering the operations of the Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance, we must recall the nearby Jewish cemetery. Naturally, its proximity is a point of departure for investigations into matters that are fundamental to everyone: life, death, and a relationship with God and others. The House of Remembrance is open to all who seek a space for exchange of ideas, free discussion, and a thoughtful way to spend their spare time.

 

Support the construction of the exhibition by donating:

ING BANK ŚLĄSKI S.A.
nr IBAN PL 05 1050 1298 1000 0023 6151 8398
NR BIC ( SWIFT): INGBPLPW

PLEASE ENTER THE PURPOSE OF DONATIONS: Donation for the construction of the permanent exhibition of the Upper Silesian Jews House of Remembrance

 

Hours:

Monday: closed
Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Contact:
+48 32 441 96 39
dompamieci@muzeum.gliwice.pl

© Muzeum w Gliwicach 2016