Cemetery

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"The Jewish cemetery in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski is located approximately 300 meters north-west of the Market Square, on a hill between Iłżecka, Sienkiewicza  and Mickiewicza Streets. The exact date of its establishment is unknown. The first records of the Jewish cemetery in Ostrowiec come from 1657, but its location is not certain

In 1900, a new fence was erected, and construction works were financed from the inheritance of Chana, her daughter Awramełe. In 1926, the tombstone of Rabbi Naftali, son of Hercel, who died in 1734 and was buried at the entrance to the cemetery, was renovated.

During the Second World War, under the occupation of the Germans, some of the tombstones were used to pave the streets. The cemetery became a place of execution, and the bodies of those killed and died in the ghetto were also buried there. It is estimated that no less than a thousand victims were buried in the cemetery at that time.

In 1947, in response to the order of the Kielce Voivode, the Municipal Board in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski transported to the cemetery tombstones used by the Germans to harden the sidewalk and the riverbank.

The devastation of the cemetery was continued by some residents and the city authorities. Not later than in 1952, local officials were preparing to "clean up the cemetery". At their request, on March 26, 1953, the Main Board of the Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland agreed to arrange a park in the cemetery and set up a lapidarium in it. On December 24, 1953, the Presidium of the National Council in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski adopted a resolution "on the adaptation of the former Jewish cemetery to green areas". …..

On May 26, 1955, the Presidium of the Provincial National Council in Kielce informed the MGK that the cemetery had been tidied up, that the slope was covered with grass and that tombstones were stored in one place. A lapidarium was created from them.

In 1980, Adam Penkalla made an inventory of 157 matzevot placed in the corner of the cemetery.The dates of his death could be read on 123 tombstones. Most of them came from the interwar period, the rest were built in the second half of the 19th century. …. However - as A. Penkalla noted - "Jewish stonemasons did not lack imagination. There are no two identical objects. Each one differs in detail, form of symbolism or the text of the inscription". The cemetery in Ostrowiec is dominated by traditional matzevot - stelae with a semicircular top, with Hebrew inscriptions and relief symbols typical of Jewish sepulchral art.

The owner of the cemetery is the State Treasury. The property is entered in the register of immovable monuments.

*- Above is excerpt , translated to English based on following source: http://cmentarze-zydowskie.pl/ostrowiec_swietokrzyski.htm

In April of 1997, the late  Binyamin Yaari worked in the Ostrowiec cemetery for two weeks, with the help of employed locals and volunteers. They  sorted the stones from the pile of matzevot and set them up again.

  • The tombstones we found erect we marked with numbers beginning with 1.
  • We marked 57 tombstones we removed from the piles with numbers beginning with 2, and placed them in front of the existing lines.
  • We attached 23 tombstones or tombstone pieces with cement, to the wall built into the fence (unnumbered).
  • Tombstones or pieces taken from the pile, which were legible, we placed along the fence in rows and numbered them in numbers starting with 3.

 

*-Above is excerpt , translated to English by Avi Borenstein  based on Binyamin Yaari’s documents

Historical articles relating to the Ostrowiec Cemetery

About the Violated Jewish Cemeteries in Poland

Translation from the Ostrowiec Yizkor book provided by Jewish Gen.

Zapomniane - link to details of murdered Ostrowiec residents

Zapomniane -  Mission:
"Our mission is to search for, locate, study and commemorate the forgotten graves of the Holocaust victims. We support local communities in coming to terms with the past and dealing with the difficult heritage of World War II. We are committed to passing on the stories we discover to future generations, in order to build awareness of the former inhabitants of Poland and to restore the memory of their lives."

Cemetery- 1940s
Tombstone of the Ostrovitzer Rabbi
Tombstone of the Ostrovitzer Rabbi
Desecrated cemetery
Desecrated cemetery
Desecration of grave of Sheindel Spiegel
Desecration of grave of Sheindel Spiegel
Return of survivors in 1945 for memorial service.  See this link for article about the Memorial week in October 1945.
Return of surviovrs to cemetery
Cemetery- Present Day
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The "new" Ohel of Rabbi Meir Yechiel Halstock
The "new" Ohel of Rabbi Meir Yechiel Halstock
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WhatsApp Image 2018-04-26 at 23.36.00
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Cemetery Today
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Cemetery Today
"Park" located at the site of the original Cemetery
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