Brzesko Old Jewish Cemetery
Jews began to settled in Brzesko after 1605. In the 19th century, a Hasidic dynasty was established in the city. In 1921, 1,935 Jews lived in Brzesko (61.5% of the total population), most of whom were killed by the Germans in Bełżec in 1942. The cemetery is located about 350 metres northeast of the market square, at Głowackiego Street. The cemetery’s date of establishment is unknown, though it was likely established in the 17th century, simultaneous to the development of the Jewish community in Brzesko. In 1787, the owner of Brzesko, Count Kryspin Żeleński, while planning for the expansion of the city, demanded the cemetery to be closed and offered a free plot of land for a new cemetery on the other side of the Uszwica River. Due to the protests of the Jews of Brzeg, the authorities of the Lviv Governorate did not allow the closure of the cemetery. The cemetery served as a burial place until the third decade of the 19th century, when—likely due to the overcrowding and the ongoing closure of cemeteries located close to the city buildings—the Jewish community established a new burial place at Czarnowiejska Street. The degradation of the cemetery likely began during World War II. In the period of the Polish People’s Republic, a car park was established there. The boundaries of the cemetery are partially visible thanks to the reamins of the stone and concrete wall, though there are no tombstones. On October 7, 2018, a tombstone-styled monument was unveiled at the cemetery with the inscription:
“This place is a part of the old Jewish cemetery in Brzesko, established in the 17th century and used until the mid-19th century. The plaque was produced in honor of the dead who were buried in this place. May their souls rest in peace. The Jewish Community in Krakow, the City of Brzesko.”
The monument was funded by the City of Brzesko, who are moreover the owners of the cemetery. The cemetery is not listed in the Municipal and Provincial Register of Monuments and the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Małopolskie Voivodeship.