BYTOM (Ger. Beuthen), town in *Silesia; in Germany until 1945. There were probably Jews living in Bytom before the *Black Death (1349), but the community disappeared; it was reestablished in 1655–59 by Polish Jews. In 1708 Jews without right of domicile in Bytom were expelled, those who remained being mainly taxfarmers. A cemetery was established in 1732, the first synagogue built in 1810, and a larger one in 1869. The Jewish population numbered seven persons in 1784; 131 in 1792; 255 in 1810; 2,549 in 1900; 3,500 in 1932 (3.77% of the total population), and 1,362 in 1939. A number of Polish Jews settled there after World War I. Attacks on Jews and Jewish shops occurred as early as 1923. In 1932 the community maintained a synagogue, an elementary and a religious school, and benevolent and cultural organizations. During World War II, 1,078 Jews were deported from Bytom (1942), most of them ending up in *Auschwitz. After the war a new community was established by Polish Jews, which maintained a Hebrew school and a producers' cooperative. In 1962 there were 248 Jews living in Bytom.
Germ Jud, 1 (1963), 26; 2 (1968), 79; FJW, 102; M. Kopfstein, Geschichte der Synagogen-Gemeinde Beuthen (1891); Juedisches Gemeindeblatt fuer Beuthen, Gleiwitz, Hindenburg (1936); AJYB (1962/63), 366–7. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: P. Maser et al., Juden in Oberschlesien I, Beuthen (1992), 72–86.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.