Bielsk Podlaski Jewish Cemetery
The first records of Jews in Bielsk Podlaski date back to the 15th and 16th centuries, but significant development of the Jewish settlement began only after 1802. In 1860, 1,123 Jews lived in the town, and in 1921, there were 2,392. Most of them were murdered at Treblinka in 1942. The Bielsk Podlaski Jewish cemetery is located about 2.1 kilometers southwest of the town center on the northern side of Brańska Street, and covers a plot of land shaped like an elongated rectangle. It has an area of approximately 2.49 hectares. The date of its establishment is unknown.
The cemetery was probably founded not earlier than the mid-19th century when the religious community was established. Prior to that time, Jews from Bielsk Podlaski were buried in Orla. The destruction process probably began during the Second World War. At that time, the Germans carried out executions on-site. In 1945-1946, survivors moved the remains of Holocaust victims exhumed from graves in and around the town to the cemetery. The cemetery was still used in the immediate postwar. In 1947, Ajzyk Blumental was buried there. On November 16, 1964, the Minister of Municipal Economy, following the passed resolution of the Presidium of the City National Council in Bielsk Podlaski of May 22, 1963, signed an order to officially close the cemetery.
In 1967, a monument commemorating Holocaust victims was unveiled at the cemetery. At the initiative of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Heritage of the Bielsko Region, a wall was built which featured three found destroyed matzevot (sacred pillar or tombstone) in 2019. Currently, there are about 70 concrete tombstones in the cemetery. Several matzevot were converted into grinding discs and individual tombstones for other Catholic burials in postwar period. The mass grave of the Holocaust victims is surrounded by a low wall and marked with a monument from 1967. Lists of preserved tombstones are available at https://cemetery.jewish.org.pl/list/c_67, https://kehilalinks.jewishgen.org/Bielsk_Podlaski/ vcemetery.htm. The cemetery’s area of 1.57 hectares is partially fenced with metal mesh. The facility is listed in the M
List and Photos of All Legible Tombstones in the Bielsk Podlaski Cemetery: