Private cemetery of the Singer family. The beginnings of the cemetery are related to the person of Jakub Singer - the founder of the oldest Jewish family living permanently in Cieszyn. In 1631, he entered into an agreement with Princess ElĹĽbieta Lukrecja about renting a Cieszyn toll, and the instructions of the duchess of April 23, 1647 gave him - as a prince tax collector - wide privileges, such as the free worship of the Mosaic religion and permission for the cemetery for the Singer family's dead . In the same year, Jakub Singer bought land from the burgher of Jan Kraus for so-called Winogrady, which became the germ of today's cemetery. Jakub Singer was buried on him first; however, his tombstone has not survived to modern times. After the issue of the tolerant edict by Charles VI in 1713, the Jewish population came to the city and, therefore, the burials took place more frequently than in the past. In connection with the lack of burial places, the Singer family bought in 1715 a piece of land with the house from Jan Faber, and in 1723 a piece of the field from Zuzanna Berisch. A servant who took care of the cemetery was placed in the obtained building. During the times of Maria Teresa, the cemetery was already widely used by Jews from Cieszyn and the surrounding area. In 1768 Singerowie (Hirschel Singer and his sister Endel, widow of Jakub Oppenheim) again enlarged the area of the Jewish cemetery by purchasing a neighboring garden. They kept the gravedigger during this period, and they paid high fees for the burial, although 20 poor Jews were buried on their own account annually with the addition of clothes. The cemetery is owned by the commune. On March 31, 1785, MojĹĽesz Hirschel Singer sold the cemetery area for 900 florins to a total of 88 tolerated Jewish families in Cieszyn, and from that moment the cemetery ceased to be a private property of the Singer family, but a Jewish community covering the whole of Cieszyn Silesia. The cemetery was constantly enlarged - in 1802 a plot of PaweĹ‚ PĹ‚oszka was acquired, and in 1836, the area of the exploited quarry was purchased. From that moment, the cemetery has reached its final shape now visible. Around 1820, a hospital for poor Jews was built next to the cemetery, and in 1830 the cemetery area was surrounded by a brick wall. In the second half of the nineteenth century, a pre-burial house, existing to this day, was built with an apartment for the guard and a stable for horses and caravan. This building was a gift from Emanuel A. Ziffer - a railway specialist from Cieszyn, who came from Cieszyn - and was dedicated to his parents' memory, as the plaque informs. In 1890, due to the lack of space, the burial grounds of the old pre-burial house and the guardian's house were earmarked for the purpose. The cemetery reached an area of 0.817 hectares with 1977 grave houses. It was also decided to build, at a short distance from the old, a new cemetery, which was put into use in 1907
[ J. Spyra, Old Jewish Cemetery in Cieszyn, p. 95. ] . After the new cemetery was buried, the old Jewish cemetery was sporadic, and the last known buried was Dr. Walter Schramek, who died in 1928. The Old Jewish Cemetery in Cieszyn was therefore a place of burial for nearly 250 years [ Janusz Spyra (ed.) Op. cit. p. 57. ] . From the 19th century, the cemetery was occupied by members of the Chewra Kadisz funeral fraternity. In the 1880s and 1890s, the cemetery manager was Leopold Wolf, and then until the First World War for many years the chairman of the brotherhood of Moritz Presser. During World War II. At the beginning of September 1939, the cemetery was closed by the occupying German authorities, and in 1941 confiscated in favor of the Third Reich. In March 1943, an order was issued to transform Cieszyn cemeteries into parks, because after the resettlement of the local Jews, they would no longer be used. Until the end of the war, however, nothing was done in this matter and the cemetery survived the occupation in good condition. In the old cemetery, in April 1945, the Gestapo carried out the execution of 81 hostages - including 18 Czechoslovak Scouts. After the war, the bodies were exhumed and transferred to the mass grave at the Municipal Cemetery in Cieszyn. After war. After the war, the cemetery was under the care of the Congregation of the Mosaic Confession in Cieszyn, and from 1966 the Congregation in Bielsko-BiaĹ‚a. There was a quick devastation of the cemetery - stolen, among others old matzevot for construction purposes, and the condition of sandstone matzevot deteriorated the high salinity of the soil. The pre-funeral house was renovated in 1972-1973, and then it was rented for warehouses. In 1986, the cemetery was entered into the register of monuments . After 1989, the Jewish Religious Community in Bielsko-BiaĹ‚a tried to preserve its purity and make necessary repairs at the cemetery. The fragment of the brick wall surrounding the cemetery was pulled down, threatening to collapse. [source: Wikipedia, 435648]
1576 gravestones have survived to the present day, and the oldest one dates back to 1686.
. The oldest gravestones are small and thick sandstone steles finished with a triangle or segmental arch. Deep inscriptions consist of large, rather ornamental letters. Tombstones from the second quarter of the eighteenth century are already larger and have the first elements of ornamentation - such as rosettes and vegetable flagella. Around 1750 gravestones crowned with a full arch appeared, and in the 1960s, they were enriched with ornaments and symbolic elements (heraldic lions - combined with the deceased's name, the Tree of Life, left-handed jug - symbol of the priesthood, crown - a reference to the Talmudic three crowns crowning the human work ). The inscriptions used on tombstones in Cieszyn are very short and simple - they include, in addition to the name of the deceased and dates of birth and death, short praise on justice, piety, charity and care for the poor. Occasionally, longer grave texts appear for the stele of the deceased on April 22, 1791, Isaac son Aszera from WodzisĹ‚aw: On Friday the second day, the half-holy Passover 551 came Isaac to the pit in the field and fell down and plunged into the water and tears of our eyes. Tombstones created from the mid-nineteenth century lost the appearance of traditional matzevot, which resulted from the assimilation of Jews. There are references to the neo-classical style (acanthus flower, Ionic or Doric half-columns), and from the mid-1950s the obelisk - a typical grave form of Jewish assimilated communities. The obelisk tombstones are devoid of religious identification features, sometimes they do not even have the Hebrew inscription - the epitaphs are engraved with the Latin alphabet, most often in German. They are made not of sandstone, but of dark granite and crystalline limestone. There are also two cast-iron tombstones (Ignaz Loebenstein and Estera Altman) from the second half of the 19th century. Most likely in Cieszyn there were also wooden tombstones, used in poor burials, but none survived to our times. [source: Wikipedia, 435648]