Kielce in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship

Saturday, 1 April 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Sienkiewicza Street © Ferdziu/cc-by-sa-3.0-pl

Sienkiewicza Street © Ferdziu/cc-by-sa-3.0-pl

Kielce is a city in southern Poland, and the capital of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. In 2021, it had 192,468 inhabitants. The city is in the middle of the Świętokrzyskie Mountains (Holy Cross Mountains), on the banks of the Silnica River, in the northern part of the historical Polish province of Lesser Poland.

Kielce has a history back over 900 years, and the exact date that it was founded remains unknown. Kielce was once an important centre of limestone mining and the vicinity is famous for its natural resources like copper, lead and iron, which, over the centuries, were exploited on a large scale.

There are several fairs and exhibitions held in Kielce throughout the year. One of the city’s most famous food produce is Kielcan Mayonaise, a type of mayonnaise.

The city and its surroundings are also known for their historic architecture, green spaces and recreational areas like the Świętokrzyski National Park.

Market Square at night © Kamil Brandeburg/cc-by-sa-3.0-pl Market Square with City Hall on the left © AnalogIgor/cc-by-sa-4.0 Palace of Kraków Bishops © Jakub Hałun/cc-by-sa-4.0 Sienkiewicza Street © Ferdziu/cc-by-sa-3.0-pl Stefan Żeromski Theatre © Nutaj/cc-by-sa-3.0-pl Kielce Cathedral © SchiDD/cc-by-sa-4.0 Kielce Synagogue © Asirekas/cc-by-sa-3.0-pl City Park © Andrzej Młynarczyk/cc-by-sa-3.0 Exaltation of the Holy Cross church © Mgluszek/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Market Square with City Hall on the left © AnalogIgor/cc-by-sa-4.0
Among the tourist attractions are:

Prior to the 1939 Invasion of Poland, like many other cities across the Second Polish Republic, Kielce had a significant Jewish population. According to the Russian census of 1897, among the total population of 23,200 inhabitants, there were 6,400 Jews in Kielce (around 27 percent). On the eve of the Second World War there were about 18,000 Jews in the city. Between the onset of war and March 1940, the Jewish population of Kielce expanded to 25,400 (35% of all residents), with trains of dispossessed Jews arriving under the escort of German Order Police battalions from the Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany. Immediately after the German occupation of Poland in September 1939, all Jews were ordered to wear a Star of David on their outer garments. Jewish–owned factories in Kielce were confiscated by the Gestapo, stores and shops along the main thoroughfares liquidated, and ransom fines introduced. The forced labour and deportations to concentration camps culminated in mass extermination of Jews of Kielce during the Holocaust in occupied Poland. In April 1941, the Kielce Ghetto was formed, surrounded by high fences, barbed wire, and guards. The gentile Poles were ordered to vacate the area and the Jews were given one week to relocate. The ghetto was split in two, along Warszawska Street (Nowowarszawska) with the Silnica River running through it.The so-called large ghetto was set up between the streets of Orla, Piotrkowska, Pocieszka, and Warszawska to the east, and the smaller ghetto between Warszawska on the west, and the streets of Bodzentyńska, St. Wojciech, and the St. Wojciech square. The ghetto gates were closed on 5 April 1941; the Jewish Ghetto Police was formed with 85 members and ordered to guard it. Meanwhile, expulsions elsewhere and deportations to Kielce continued until August 1942 at which time there were 27,000 prisoners crammed in the ghetto. Trains with Jewish families arrived from the entire Kielce Voivodeship, and also from Vienna, Poznań, and Łódź. The severe overcrowding, rampant hunger, and outbreaks of epidemic typhus took the lives of 4,000 people before mid-1942. During this time, many of them were forced to work at a nearby German munition plant run by Hasag. In August 1942, the Kielce Ghetto was liquidated in the course of only five days. During roundups, all Jews unable to move were shot on the spot including the sick, the elderly, and the disabled; 20,000–21,000 Jews were led into waiting Holocaust trains, and murdered in the gas chambers of Treblinka. After the extermination action only 2,000 Jews were left in Kielce lodged in the labour camp at Stolarska and Jasna Streets within the small ghetto. Those who survived were sent to other forced labour camps. On May 23, 1943, the Kielce cemetery massacre was perpetrated by the German police; 45 Jewish children who had survived the Kielce Ghetto liquidation, were murdered by Order Police battalions.

On July 4, 1946, the local Jewish gathering of some 200 Holocaust survivors from the Planty 7 Street refugee centre of the Zionist Union became the target of the Kielce pogrom in which 37 (40) Jews (17–21 of whom remain unidentified) and 2 ethnic Poles were killed, including 11 fatally shot with military rifles and 11 more stabbed with bayonets, indicating direct involvement of Polish troops.

Read more on poland.travel – Kielce, Wikivoyage Kielce and Wikipedia Kielce (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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