There has been a Jewish presence in Poland for 1,000 years or more. Jews first arrived in Polish lands as traveling merchants in medieval times and over the centuries they grew to be the largest Jewish community in the world on the eve of the Holocaust.
Though most physical traces of Jewish built heritage were destroyed by the Nazis during World War II or under the communist regime in the decades afterward, there are still hundreds, maybe thousands, of Jewish heritage sites all over Poland: synagogue buildings, Jewish cemeteries, schools, rabbis’ houses and other structures. These include around 1,200 or more Jewish cemeteries, most of which have no gravestones (or only a few), and scores of synagogue buildings, ranging from ruins to well-restored sites. Only a tiny handful are used still as Jewish houses of worship.
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