Chorzow Jewish Cemetery
The village of Chareu (Chorzów in Polish) was established as a church property in 1257. In 1810, the ownership was taken over by the Prussian state. In 1799, next to the village of Chorzów, the settlement of Königshütte (Królewska Huta) was established, which was granted city rights in 1868. Soon, both villages and several surrounding settlements were merged into one urban organism. After World War I, Królewska Huta and Chorzów and the surrounding settlements were incorporated into reborn Poland and the agglomeration was named Chorzów. The first records of Jews living in Królewska Huta date back to 1829. Around 1850, a house of prayer was erected in a nearby colony. A magnificent brick synagogue was built in 1875 in the center of Chorzów. In the mid-19th century, about 200 Jews subordinate to the kehilla in Bytom lived in Królewska Huta and Chorzów. In 1865, the Chorzów kehilla became independent. In 1880, the population of 1,020 Jews was 3.7% of the total population. After Chorzów and its vicinity were incorporated into Poland in 1922, most Jews associated with German culture left for Germany. On the eve of World War II, the Jewish community numbered 4,705 people. In 1940, the Germans deported the local Jews to Olkusz and Jaworzno, and from there to the concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The Jewish cemetery was established in 1862, south of the residential buildings. In 1898, a brick mortuary was erected behind the gate on the north-eastern edge of the cemetery. At the beginning of the 20th century, the burial area was enlarged on the south-western side, and the new part was surrounded by a stone wall. In the interwar period, the cemetery was shaped like an elongated rectangle with an area of about 0.8 ha. The main avenue with side alleys ran along the axis of the cemetery. During World War II, the necropolis was partially devastated. Burials continued until 1954. In 1958, the state authorities closed the cemetery for burial purposes, and its ownership was taken over by the State Treasury. From 1964, the cemetery was gradually devastated – the funeral house was demolished, and tombstones were stolen.
In 1973, the state authorities decided to liquidate the cemetery. Some human remains from the new part of the necropolis were exhumed (they were transferred to the Jewish cemetery in Bytom), the remaining tombstones were removed, and the area was leveled, and a park was established. In 2006, a monument commemorating the Jewish community of Chorzów was erected on the north-eastern edge of the cemetery. Currently, the area of the necropolis looks like a park – it is covered with old trees and shrubs, there are lawns, flower beds, and alleys with benches. The boundaries of the cemetery are invisible. Only a part of the wall has survived on the northern border. The bases of the tombstones are visible. Single tombstones were found in the area of the cemetery.