The Jewish Pre-funeral House of Max Fleischer in Gliwice

On March 30th at 5:00 PM, as part of the “Architectural Triad” series, the third and final lecture titled “The Jewish Pre-funeral House of Max Fleischer in Gliwice – the History of the Facility and Its New Life” will take place.

The lecture will be given by Karolina Jakoweńko and Magdalena Żmudzińska-Nowak.

The pre-funeral house at the new Jewish cemetery in Gliwice is widely known as the House of Memory of Upper Silesian Jews. The building was designed at the beginning of the 20th century by Viennese architect Max Fleischer, and its grand opening took place on November 15, 1903. With the outbreak of World War II, the pre-funeral house was annexed for military purposes and converted into a warehouse. After the war, the cemetery and the building were used by the Jewish community in Gliwice. However, over time, the facility began to deteriorate.

Thanks to numerous initiatives and actions, knowledge about this historic building has been deepened, and it has been included in the register of monuments of the Silesian Voivodeship. In 2007, the Jewish community handed over the building to the City of Gliwice, which began its renovation and adaptation for the needs of the branch of the Museum in Gliwice. It was named the House of Memory of Upper Silesian Jews and opened in 2016.

Magdalena Żmudzińska-Nowak will present the history of the pre-funeral house, the profile of its creator – Viennese architect Max Fleischer, as well as the complex and fascinating story of the search, discoveries, and social activities focused around this facility before it started its current function.

Karolina Jakoweńko, on the other hand, will talk about the activities of the House of Memory of Upper Silesian Jews, which include research and commemoration of the history of Jews in the Upper Silesian region from the Middle Ages to the present day. The museum houses a unique exhibition in the country called “Jews in Upper Silesia,” which tells the complexity of the fate of Jews from the former German cities in a modern way. The House of Memory of Upper Silesian Jews is open to all who seek a friendly space for exchanging thoughts, unrestricted discussion, and a wise way of spending their free time. It hosts many meetings nurturing the memory of the past.

You are invited to attend this meeting about this unique monument and modern museum.

Karolina Jakoweńko is a cultural studies graduate, specializing in “Jewish World” studies (Jagiellonian University), a tour guide, president of the Brama Cukermana Foundation, and the head of the House of Memory of Upper Silesian Jews, a branch of the Museum in Gliwice. She coordinates and animates projects at the intersection of culture and history. She is a co-author of the book “Memory of the Borderland: Tales of Jewish Life and the Holocaust in Upper Silesia and the Dąbrowa Basin.” She has been honored with awards for her activities in the field of heritage conservation and the memory of the Jewish community, including the Maria and Łukasz Hirszowicz Award from the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, the “Protecting Memory” award from MKDiN and the Embassy of Israel, the Zagłębie Humanitas Award, the Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, and the Special POLIN Award 2022.

prof. dr hab. inż arch. Magdalena Żmudzińska-Nowak – is the head of the Theory, Design, and History of Architecture Department at the Faculty of Architecture of the Silesian University of Technology and the head of the Architecture Documentation Institute of the Silesian Library. She is a professor, researcher, and academic teacher specializing in cultural heritage, conservation, adaptation, and revitalization of historic buildings, as well as architectural and urban theory. She has initiated numerous projects in the field of research and preservation of cultural heritage, including “San Pietro Infine – the Place and Memory” (2019), “Lazio-Tuscany-Silesia: Heritage Sites in Conservation Perspective” (2020), “Lazio Paper Mills” (2021), and many others. She is the author of over a hundred scientific publications, including the monographs “Local Architecture Heritage in the Integrated Approach: research-protection-education” (2019) and “Place: Identity and Change” (2010). She is the editor of ten scientific books, including “Tadeusz Barucki – Architect, Traveler, Researcher” (2022) and “Reflektory Interdisciplinary Approach to the Architecture Heritage of Upper Silesia in the Second Half of the 20th Century” (2018).