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cemetery: Powązki, Warszawa
photography: Jacek Michiej
Warszawa

Cmentarz żydowski w Warszawie (Wola)

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Jewish cemetery in Warsaw - the largest Jewish cemetery in the Masovian Voivodeship, the second largest in Poland (after the new cemetery in Łódź) and one of the largest in the world. The cemetery is located in Warsaw's Powązki Cemetery in the Wola district, next to the necropolis of other religions. The cemetery covers an area of about 33.5 ha, there are about 200,000 gravestones (matzevot) constituting one of the most valuable monuments of the small architecture of Warsaw and Poland. The area of the cemetery is divided into: orthodox, progressive, child's, order, military and ghetto, and in the orthodox still for women and men, and special for storing sacred books. The necropolis is open and serves the Jewish community of Warsaw and the surrounding area. [source: Wikipedia, 751640]
confessionJudaism
type of the cemeteryreligious
state of the cemeteryactive
[source: Wikipedia, 751640]
Poland
the area where services are available
area where services are not available
The history of the cemetery
In the years 1806-1918. In 1806, the management of the Jewish kehilla in Warsaw appealed to the government with a request for permission to set up a cemetery for Jewish people behind the Wolska Codes. The consent was issued in the same year, and then the cemetery was immediately set up. At that time, the funeral brotherhood of Chevra Kadish was established, which administered the necropolis, and in its decisions it was independent and fully autonomous. For burial purposes, the cemetery was opened at the end of the same year. The first officially buried person was Nachum, son of Nachum from Siemiatycze (died on December 6, 1806). His tombstone, made probably in 1807, has not survived to this day. The first woman buried was Elka Junghoff née Mulrat, daughter of Jehuda Leib Mulrata from Kalisz, wife of the merchant Kacper Jezechiel Junghoff. The date of death engraved on its tombstone, November 26, 1804, is probably incorrect, because then the burial would take place two years before the official opening of the cemetery. The oldest known preserved tombstone belongs to Sarah, daughter of Eliezer (died on September 8, 1807). For many years the cemetery was treated as an elite and used by the richer Jewish community. Burials of poorer Jews were sent to the cemetery in Bródno. In 1824 the first extension of the cemetery was made. In the 1820s, the tsarist authorities established the Temple Supervision Board, which was subordinated to the Funeral Administration fulfilling exactly the same tasks as the funeral fraternity. The situation was very shocking to the members of Chewra Kadisz who did not want to allow the cemetery to be administered. The entire procedure of taking over the cemetery by the Administration lasted until 1850. After this year, the cemetery was modestly aesthetized, few trees were planted, some lodgings were fenced, and the whole was fenced with a makeshift wooden fence. In the years 1856-1857 a special commission was appointed, which postulated the construction of a new mortuary, the designation of avenues and the planting of trees. In 1828, the first pre-burial house was erected, but after three years in 1831 it was completely burnt by the Russian army. A year later, a new brick pre-burial house was erected, which was expanded in 1854. In 1840 and 1848, the necropolis was extended once again. In 1873, with the consent of the municipal authorities, a small bridge over the trenches was built, which made it easier for funeral departments to reach the cemetery straight from Gęsia Street. In 1860, 1863 and 1869, the last extensions of the cemetery were made. In 1885, it was decided to transfer free funerals to the Jewish cemetery in Bródno, which was to save the cemetery area and finance, which was intended for this type of burial. In 1877, at the initiative of the wealthy members of the Warsaw Jewish community, an impressive, late-classicist building housing a synagogue and two pre-burial houses was built. Left for dead men and right for women. A rabbi and his family lived on the first floor. The whole was designed by architect Adolf Schimmelpfennig. In 1882 a well was erected in front of the building. In the second half of the nineteenth century, a special nursery school was opened, thanks to which many beautiful and decorative trees were planted in the cemetery. In 1913, the record that divided the cemetery into four parts was confirmed, which at least to a small extent reduced the conflicts between orthodox and progressive Jews. There were also several other conflicts between these groups, including in the case of non-Hebrew inscriptions on tombstones, the length of holding corpses in a pre-burial house or setting the body of a deceased on a catafalque. In the years 1918-1939. When the cemetery was completely filled after the end of the First World War, the system of embankments was used, consisting in removing the tombstones in the children's quarters and creating a minimum of 1 meter of the new layer of earth at burial sites over 50 years old. It was necessary because of the narrowness and the lack of the possibility to enlarge the area of the cemetery. So far, 14 such embankments have been made. In the interwar period, the whole cemetery was fenced with a high brick wall. In 1936 the last embankment was made. In 1939, the construction of the Mausoleum of the Jews of the Fighters for the Independence of Poland began. During the Second World War. In November 1940 the necropolis was within the ghetto, from which it was excluded in October 1941. The area of the cemetery was an important way of smuggling food to a closed district. The cemetery was partly devastated, it brought about mass executions and mass burials of murdered people in the Warsaw Ghetto and fallen insurgents of the Warsaw Ghetto, Jewish partisans and Jewish insurgents from the Warsaw Uprising. On May 15, 1943, after the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, the Nazis blew up all the buildings in the cemetery, including the pre-burial house with the synagogue. Only the well survived. In 1944, the cemetery area was a field of fierce battles between insurgents from the Zośka and Parasol battalions. Post-war period and modern times. After the war, burials began to take place again in the cemetery. In the meantime, the state authorities planned to run a new street through the middle of the cemetery and remove over 5,400 gravestones. These plans were not implemented, thanks to which the cemetery area survived. Currently, the Jewish cemetery is one of the valuable monuments of Warsaw. In the 1990s, the Nissenbaum Family Foundation, the Jewish Religious Community in Warsaw and other organizations renovated the cemetery, including the well, the waterworks from 1907, numerous graves, entrance gates, and the nineteenth-century iron lamp that survived the war, were restored, which today, after reconstruction, stands in the courtyard at the entrance to the cemetery. In the meantime, several monuments were also issued. From April 2010, the Volunteer Cm Ordering Organization has been operating. Jewish them. J. Rajnfeld, whose aim is to renovate the cemetery. His meetings take place every month from April to November. A dozen or so people usually participate in the work of the Hufc. On April 14, 2013 about 150 volunteers took part in the cemetery's cleanup. In the second decade of March 2012, a wall separating the Jewish cemetery from the Powązki Cemetery collapsed on the length of several dozen meters. A few years ago, the Orthodox Church of the Elders in the Republic of Poland tried to rebuild the synagogue and pre-burial houses, but the Jewish Religious Community in Warsaw did not agree. So far, only the foundations of the synagogue and objects found there, which are exhibited at specially designed exhibitions, have been dug up. The cemetery is open all the time and serves the Jewish community of Warsaw and the surrounding area. On average, there are two funerals a month here. In the years 1960-1983, the guardian of the cemetery was Pinkus Szenicer, then his son Bolesław Szenicer. In 2002 he was replaced by Przemysław Szpilman. The cemetery is open to visitors. For several dozen years on the All Saints 'Day and All Souls' Day, the cemetery has held issues in order to obtain funds for the renovation of the cemetery. In 2011, the thirteenth such a question took place. The people of culture and art are looking for, that is, among others Maja Komorowska, Gołda Tencer, Marcin Święcicki, Jacek Dehnel, Józef Duriasz, Sławomir Holland, Emilia Krakowska and others. During the Jewish Opena Twarda festival organized every year in May at the initiative of the Warsaw Jewish Community, both daily and night trips around the cemetery are organized. In July 2014, the cemetery, along with five other necropolises forming a complex of historic religious cemeteries in Powązki, was considered a historical monument. In December, the Sejm adopted a law on subsidies for the Cultural Heritage Foundation, according to which it received PLN 100 million to supplement perpetual capital. Income from investing part of the perpetual capital from the subsidies is to be spent on carrying out renovation, conservation and investment works in the cemetery. [source: Wikipedia, 751640]
Position
Currently, the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw is one of the few remaining physical traces of the centuries-old Jewish presence in this city. According to Judaic tradition, it was located outside the city walls and trenches, currently at ul. Okopowa 49/51. The cemetery covers an area of approximately 33.5 ha. It is the first Jewish cemetery in the Mazowieckie voivodship in terms of area and the second in terms of area in Poland. The largest Jewish cemetery is located in Łódź - 41.3 ha, but it is poorer if you take into account the number of preserved matzevot. The whole is fenced with a brick wall. [source: Wikipedia, 751640]
Cemetery in culture
The cemetery, present in memoir literature, has also become the subject of poetry - Mosze Knaphajs wrote a song entitled My dad's complaint at the Gęsia cemetery. Władysław Broniewski refers to the cemetery in a poem dedicated to Miła Street Ulica Miła: This reference is incorrect because Miła street did not reach the cemetery walls, while the Sochaczewska street, which was on its extension, turned at a right angle north and fell into Niska Street, which reaches to Okopowa Street at the height of the school buildings . Kinga. In addition, the scenery of the cemetery was used as a film set in such films as: Samson (as a Jewish cemetery in Wola in Warsaw), Korczak (as a Jewish cemetery in Wola in Warsaw) or In darkness (as a Jewish cemetery in Lviv). [source: Wikipedia, 751640]
Famous burials
Wiktor Alter
1890-1943
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Szymon An-ski
1863-1920
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Szymon Askenazy
1865-1935
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Majer Bałaban
1877-1942
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Zofia Banet-Fornalowa
1929-2012
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Salomon Belis-Legis
1907-1995
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Leon Berenson
1882-1941
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Aleksandra Bergman
1906-2005
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Naftali Cwi Jehuda Berlin
1816-1893
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Mathias Bersohn
1824-1908
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Chana Białkowicz
1884-1962
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Izrael Białkowicz
1890-1959
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Michał Białkowicz
1919-1990
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Mieczysław Bibrowski
1908-2000
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Mosze Broderson
1890-1956
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Chewel Buzgan
1897-1971
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Zygmunt Bychowski
1865-1934
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Ferdynand Chaber
1907-2005
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Seweryn Chajtman
1919-2012
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Adam Czerniaków
1880-1942
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Samuel Dickstein
1851-1939
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Zofia Dromlewicz
1899-1938
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Marian Meir Abraham Eiger
1873-1939
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Artur Eisenbach
1906-1992
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Piotr Erlich
1903-1982
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Maksymilian Flaum
1864-1933
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Adolf Forbert
1911-1992
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Roman Frister
1928-2015
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Leon Gangel
1898-1973
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Leon Garbarski
1911-1979
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Małgorzata Gebert
1952-2011
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Rafał Glücksman
1907-1962
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Uri Nissan Gnessin
1841-1913
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Ludwik Maurycy Hirszfeld
1814-1876
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Maurycy Horn
1917-2000
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Rachela Hutner
1909-2008
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Józef Janasz
1784-1868
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Leon Jeannot
1908-1997
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Noemi Jungbach
1910-1986
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Chaskiel Hirsz Kameraz
1903-1971
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Józef Kirszrot-Prawnicki
1842-1906
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Michał Klepfisz
1913-1943
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Noemi Korsan-Ekert
1921-2013
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Estera Kowalska
1905-1980
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Stanisław Kramsztyk
1841-1906
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Wiktor Kubiak
1945-2013
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Arie Lerner
1918-2002
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Aleksander Lesser
1814-1884
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Jerzy Lipman
1922-1983
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Marian Małowist
1909-1988
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Bronisław Mansperl
1891-1915
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Alina Margolis-Edelman
1922-2008
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Stanisław Mendelson
1857-1913
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Rafał Molski
1925-2000
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Abraham Morewski
1886-1964
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Jakub Mortkowicz
1876-1931
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Janina Mortkowicz
1875-1960
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Juliusz Mutermilch
1861-1921
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Walentyna Najdus-Smolar
1909-2004
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Symche Natan
1892-1946
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Jakub Natanson
1832-1884
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Alfred Nossig
1864-1943
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Feliks Perl
1871-1927
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Henryk Piasecki
1905-2003
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Samuel Abraham Poznański
1864-1921
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Norbert Ramer
1911-1996
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Paweł Rogalski
1908-1993
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Adam Rutkowski
1912-1987
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Paulina Seidenbeutel-Karbowska
1882-1941
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Ryszard Sielicki
1916-2005
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Chaim Zelig Słonimski
1810-1904
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Julian Stryjkowski
1905-1996
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Jerzy Szapiro
1920-2011
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Baruch Szulman
1886-1906
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Michał Szwejlich
1910-1995
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Zygmunt Toeplitz
1864-1934
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Feliks Tych
1929-2015
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Akiwa Uryson
1894-1943
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Elżbieta Wassong
1908-2007
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Stefania Wilczyńska
1886-1942
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Alfred Tadeusz Wiślicki
1913-1995
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Wacław Wiślicki
1882-1935
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Bogdan Wojdowski
1930-1994
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Lucjan Wolanowski
1920-2006
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Feliks Zamenhof
1868-1933
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Ludwik Łazarz Zamenhof
1859-1917
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Markus Zamenhof
1837-1907
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Aleksander Ziemny
1924-2009
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Jakub Zonszajn
1914-1962
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Reuven Zygielbaum
1913-2005
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