In the Middle Ages, Milicz probably did not have any Jewish residents. However, once the town gained a favourable location next to an important trade route in the 19th century, it became a stopover for Jewish merchants heading for Wrocław. At the time, Jews passing through Milicz were obliged to pay a special toll.
In the second half of the 17th century, several Jewish families temporarily settled in Milicz. They had previously been expelled from the nearby Krotoszyn and were eventually allowed to return to the city a couple of years later.
The beginnings of permanent Jewish settlement in Milicz date back to the early 18th century, when a group of Jews moved to the town after receiving appropriate privileges. Their primary source of income was trade in wool and leather. They were all subordinate to the rabbinate in Głogów.
At first, the Jewish population inhabiting Milicz was very small. There were 5–10 Jewish families living in Milicz in the years 1794–1812, that is a total of no more than 50 people. The local Jewish community was established in the early 19th century; a small synagogue was erected in the town in 1820. A cemetery was opened around the same period. The statute of the Jewish community of Milicz dates back to 1860; at the time, the community was the most populous. In 1848, it had 105 members, while in 1864 – as many as 197. The number of Jewish inhabitants of Milicz started to dwindle in 1871, falling from 64 in 1871 to 46 in 1937. The trend was temporarily reversed at the turn of 1925, when as many as 91 Jews lived in the town.
In 1933, after the Nazi rise to power, Milicz had 50 Jewish inhabitants. Almost all of them managed to escape before the beginning of the German occupation. Only five Jews resided in Milicz in 1938, when the local synagogue was set on fire and the last Jewish shops were destroyed. The Jewish community was officially disbanded in 1939.
- Alicke K.-D., “MIlitsch (Schlesien),” [in] Lexikon der jüdischen Gemeinden im deutschen Sprachraum, vol. 2, Gütersloh 2008, pp. 2787–2788.