Katowice’s Sachs and Grünfeld Families: Not Just a Family Portrait

On February 9th at 5:00 PM, as part of the “Architectural Triad” series, we invite you to a lecture titled “Katowice’s Sachs and Grünfeld Families: Not Just a Family Portrait” based on the memoirs of Margarete and Walter Grünfeld. The lecture will be delivered by Izabella Kühnel.

Ignatz Isaac Grünfeld, born in 1825, came to Katowice at the age of 30 and founded a construction company that carried his name and lasted until the 1930s. The company, later run by his sons Hugo and Max, designed and built dozens of the most representative tenements in Katowice and the surrounding cities. One of the most important buildings erected by the Grünfeld company in Katowice was the Great Synagogue.

It was a golden period in the Prussian economy. Reparation funds paid by France revitalized the country’s economy, and in Katowice at that time, the “American dream,” as we would say today, was coming true. The village, which had been a backward place just twenty years earlier, quickly caught up with civilization. Private villas, tenements, and public utility buildings were constructed.

The lecture on the family history is based, among other sources, on the published memoirs of Hugo Grünfeld’s son, Walther Grünfeld (Ignatz’s grandson), and his daughter-in-law Margarete Grünfeld.

Izabella Kühnel, an archaeologist by education and a historian by passion, is a curator at the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom. For several decades, she has been popularizing the most important events from the history of Bytom to ensure they remain in the memory of future generations.

She is the author of exhibitions and accompanying publications, including “Child in the Lens of History: Upper Silesia and the Borderlands” and “Women in the History and Present of Bytom” (co-authored). As a proponent of oral history, she has recorded numerous significant conversations with fascinating figures from our region over the years.