During World War II there was a nearly complete genocidal destruction of the Polish Jewish community by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, during the 1939–1945 German occupation of Poland and the ensuing Holocaust.Since the fall of Communism in Poland there has been a Jewish revival, characterized by the annual Jewish Culture Festival, new study programmes at Polish high schools and universities, the work of synagogues such as the Nożyk, and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.At the start of World War II, Poland was partitioned between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union (see Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact).
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The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over 1000 years.
For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world.
There were, however, among the reigning princes some determined protectors of the Jewish inhabitants, who considered the presence of the latter most desirable as far as the economic development of the country was concerned.
Prominent among such rulers was Bolesław the Pious of Kalisz, Prince of Great Poland.
Still, as Poland regained independence in the aftermath of World War I, it was the center of the European Jewish world with one of world's largest Jewish communities of over 3 million.
Antisemitism was a growing problem throughout Europe in those years, from both the political establishment and the general population.
For example, they could define their neighborhoods and economic competitors and set up monopolies.
This made it very attractive for Jewish communities to pick up and move to Poland.
With the consent of the class representatives and higher officials, in 1264 he issued a General Charter of Jewish Liberties, the Statute of Kalisz, which granted all Jews the freedom of worship, trade and travel.
Similar privileges were granted to the Silesian Jews by the local princes, Prince Henry Probus of Wrocław in 1273–90, Henry of Glogow in 12, Henry of Legnica in 1290 – 95 and Bolko of Legnica and Wrocław in 1295.
Jews enjoyed undisturbed peace and prosperity in the many principalities into which the country was then divided; they formed the middle class in a country where the general population consisted of landlords (developing into szlachta, the unique Polish nobility) and peasants, and they were instrumental in promoting the commercial interests of the land.