Busko Zdroj Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Świetokrzyskie Voivodeship
District
Busko Zdrój
Settlement
Busko Zdrój
Site address
The cemetery is located between 17 and 19, Widuchowska Street.
GPS coordinates
50.47051, 20.73515
Perimeter length
275 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
The entire perimeter of the cemetery is fenced with different types of fences: there is a stone wall along Widuchowska street (about 1 metres high), a metal fence on the southern and eastern sides (about 2 metres high) and a wire fence on the western side (1 metres high).
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is located along Widuchowska Street. The area is fenced and well-preserved. Fragments of matzevot and the remains of the old fence have survived. The adjacent land is in residential and agricultural use. There is a memorial to local victims of Holocaust.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones have been preserved in situ. 2 intact and 41 fragments of matzevot have been placed around the Holocaust monument and along the stone wall on the left of the entrance. Along the western wall of the cemetery there is a dike made of rubble, among which there are fragments of matzevot.
Date of oldest tombstone
1894 (fragments)
Date of newest tombstone
1927 (fragments)
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
State
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The development of a Jewish community in Busko started after the abolition of restrictions on the settlement of Jews in 1862. In 1921, 1,464 Jews lived in the town. The majority of them were murdered in Treblinka in October 1942.

The cemetery is located around 1.1km east of the city center, on the northern side of Widuchowska Street. The cemetery was established after 1862 and its area was enlarged by purchasing additional land in 1928. The area was fenced. At the entrance, there was a funeral house with a gravedigger’s apartment.

During the extermination of the ghetto inhabitants, the Germans carried out executions at the cemetery. The bodies of the victims were buried in mass graves. In 1943, two Polish women, Zofia Dytkowska and Helena Żurkiewicz, were shot at the cemetery for aiding the partisans. The Germans used some matzevot to harden the pavements at Łagiewnicka Street and Kiliński Street.

On October 1st 1957, the Presidium of the Municipal National Council in Busko-Zdrój adopted a resolution to close the cemetery and a motion for its early liquidation due to the expansion of the city. On June 22nd 1964, the Ministry of the Municipal Economy approved the decision to close the cemetery. The annex to the decision states that the cemetery covered a plot of 0.5 hectares, and that the last burial took place in 1943.

The cemetery was devastated. In the post-war years, it was used as a pasture and for landfill. In 1986, the Municipality and the Communal Office of the Town of Busko-Zdrój allocated PLN 30,000 for cleaning works at the cemetery. In 1987, there were a few destroyed tombstones, partly placed in their original locations arranged by rows, and partially piled next to the livestock, there was also a destroyed stone fence.

In 2016, with the cooperation of the city authorities, the Nissenbaum Family Foundation and private sponsors, the cemetery was cleaned up and fenced. A monument commemorating the victims of the Holocaust was placed on the axis of the gateway, around which a dozen tombstones have been gathered. At the entrance, the plaques commemorating the victims of the holocaust and the renovation of the cemetery are placed. The State Treasury owns the cemetery and the property has been entered into the Register of Immovable Monuments.