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The place name "Dąbrowa", derived from the Polish word dąb (oak), denotes an "oak grove", as the territory of the original village is believed to be covered by oak forests back in the early days of its existence. Since in the 19th century the settlement grew to be an important coal mining center, its name was supplemented by the adjective "Górnicza" ("mining") in 1919.

During World War II, on September 3, 1939, Dąbrowa Górnicza was taken by the German army. All Jews living there (about five thousand people) were soon gathered into a special Jewish community (Judische Kultusgemeinde). In the fall of 1940 several hundred young Jewish men were deported to slave labor camps in Germany. At the end of that year a ghetto was established in Dabrowa.

It was located in an area of Chopina, Polnej, Barlickiego, Łukasińskiego, and Okrzei streets. The entire ghetto was fenced with barb wire wall. More than 10,000 Jews, on whom a contribution of gold and jewellery was imposed, were confined there. Those eligible for work were employed at tailors', shoemakers', and carpenters' workshops.

On May 5, 1942, the Germans carried out the initial selection and sent the first transport of 630 Jews to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the second transport, on August 12,1942, about 100 people were sent to Auschwitz. The other Jews in Dąbrowa Górnicza were employed in the arms factories from 1942. While working there, workers were leaving the ghetto with special passes under the supervision of the German police.

In autumn of 1942, about 5,500 Jews from Dąbrowa and 2,000 Jews from Strzemieszyce were transported to the Auschwitz extermination camp. On May 5, 1942, the first deportation took place in which 630 Jews were taken to Auschwitz and exterminated. In the second deportation, conducted on August 12, 1942, another few hundred Jews were sent to their death in Auschwitz. On June 26, 1943, the ghetto in Dabrowa Gornicza was liquidated and all its inmates were transferred to the ghetto in Srodula (nowadays a suburb of Sosnowiec), the only ghetto still existing in Upper Silesia.

The Germans carried out the dissolution of the ghetto in Dąbrowa, and including the Jews from Dabrowa Gornicza, all were deported to Auschwitz and killed. After the war the Jewish community in Dabrowa Gornicza was not reestablished.