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Polish: Wolczyn (German: Konstadt) is a town in Kluczbork County, Opole Voivodeship, Poland, with 6,221 inhabitants (2004).
In 1742, when Wolczyn was under Prussian rule, Jewish settlement in the region began. In 1787, the total of 86 Jews were living in the town. In the 1840s the Jewish Community, which owned a synagogue and cemetery, was established. In 1845, 160 Jews lived in the town which consituted 11% of the total population[1.1]. In 1853, a new synagogue, whose inauguration took place on 7 December 1853 , was erected[1.1]. In 1871, the Jewish community of Wolczyn numbered 197 i.e. 9. 1% of the total population. In 1875, a Jewish school was established which was attended by 38 students in 1892. The turn of the 19th and 20th centuries was characterized by a mass Jewish emigration, as a result of which only 107 Jews were left in Wolczyn in 1925 and in 1932 their number decreased to only 80 persons.
In 1932, a hand grenade was thrown into a Jewish shop in Wolczyn. When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, the municipal council of Wolczyn made a list of local entrepreneurs and informed all the Jews about the termination of all their contracts. On Kristallnacht (9th/10th November 1938) the Nazis burnt the synagogue down and vandalized numerous houses and Jewish shops. After these incidents a vast number of Jews left Wolczyn and emigrated to the West. On 19 November 1942, only 7 Jews lived in the the town. Their fate remains unknown[1.3].
The Progressive/Reform Jewish cemetery in Wolczyn (Byczyńska Street) was established in 1833 with last burial in 1913.
It is located 2 kilometers away from the town, near the road to Byczyna. According to some sources it is the Brzezinki cemetery but this information is incorrect. The true location of the necropolis is Wolczyn, for it belonged to the Jewish Community of this town. During the Second World War the cemetery was destroyed by the Nazis.
On the area of 0.2 hectares, 33 standing tombtones have been preserved. The oldest visable gravestone is Jakob Josef Kafil, who died on September 14th, 1833. Six gravestones of the Unger family, the gravestone of Samuel Dallman and the gravestone plate of Handol Zimmerman are worth mentioning[1.1]. The matzevot have Hebrew and German inscriptions. There may be more matzevot under a layer of soil.
In 2004 the cemetery was cleaned and fenced.
From Adam Marczewski 26 Feb 2010 and the International Jewish Cemetery Project.
Link to pictures by Adam Marczewski: