Bochnia

In 1368,the Polish King, Casimir the Great, entrusted administration of salt mines to aJew called Lewko. This information is one of the first regarding the settlementof the Jews in Bochnia, which is associated with local beds of rock salt. Theimportant role of Bochnia in the economic life of the region fostered the developmentof the Jewish community and was a reason for which the Bochnia Jews werefavoured by subsequent monarchs. The situation changed in 1605, when as aresult of accusation of the Host desecration, the Jews were expelled and thetown was granted the status of de non tolerandis Judaeis (prohibition ofthe Jewish settlement in the town). After more than 200 years of absence, theJews returned to live in Bochnia in the 60s of the 19th century,this coincided with the rapid development of the town, which is one of the stopson the route Krakow-Tarnów-Dębica. The following years brought the founding ofthe Jewish cemetery and several private prayer houses, including Shtiebels,related to the Tzadik dynasty from Nowy Sącz, among which the best known is theSandzer Shul. The developmentof the community of the Bochnia Jews was interrupted by World War II. Asmall number of those who had managed to survive, returned to the town in 1945.However, even this small group emigrated quite quickly. Today, we may find thetraces of the Jews in Bochnia mainly in the Museum’s collection of Judaica,which contains an interesting collection of ritual props and at the Jewishcemetery at ul. Krzęczków 5.