The “Free City”
An important seaport nestled on the Baltic Sea, Gdansk is home to a multifaceted and rich Jewish history. The origins of the Jewish community go back to the 11th century. The Jews of Gdansk mostly worked as merchants and traders until their emancipation in 1812, when the city became a piece of the Kingdom of Prussia, thus aligning the community with German culture and tradition. Learn the story of Jewish WWI veterans who defended and saved the Great Synagogue on Kristallnacht; or how they organized their own Aliyah to Palestine. There is a bronze monument to the Kindertransport by Frank Meisler, himself one of the children saved by the efforts. Discover the local Jewish Cemetery, which still retains the original walls and entrance gate, you can still find several surviving graves with inscriptions in Polish, German, Russian and Hebrew. The New Synagogue in Wrzeszcz, built in 1926, is the sole remaining synagogue in the city for the small community, which gathers every year to celebrate the Baltic Days of Jewish Culture.
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