Drzewica Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Łódzkie Voivodeship
District
Opoczno
Settlement
Drzewica
Site address
40, Błonie Street.
GPS coordinates
51.4428272, 20.4727221
Perimeter length
353 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence, but the foundations of the fence have been preserved.
Preservation condition
Demolished Jewish cemetery that has not been built over
General site condition
The cemetery is located in the forest, the site is overgrown partly with trees. There are traces of sand removal on the site. The foundations of the former fence have been preserved on both sides. There are some stones that could have been fragments, but have no visible inscriptions on them. The area is littered.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved.
Date of oldest tombstone
N/A
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Other
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The Jewish cemetery in Drzewica is located about 800 metres south-west of the village centre, between Kolejowa Street and the extension of Cmentarna Street, and covers a square plot of land, with an area of 1 hectare. The cemetery was established following the decision of the Government Commission for Internal and Spiritual Affairs dated October 14, 1865, to create a separate Synagogue District in Drzewica. The cemetery fell into disrepair during and after World War II. All the tombstones were removed, and the fence was torn down. On September 24, 1962, the Presidium of the Municipal National Council in Drzewica adopted a resolution to close the cemetery and, on May 14, 1964, on its liquidation. The attached documentation states that the last burial took place in 1943. The order to close the cemetery was signed by the Minister of Municipal Economy on June 22, 1964, and four days later he signed permission that the area could be used for another purpose. In 1965, officials of the Presidium of the Poviat National Council in Opoczno proposed tree planting or using the area to expand the Gerlach industrial plant. In the cemetery charter from 1985, in the “Characteristics of the layout” paragraph, the following was stated: “There are no elements characteristic of a Jewish cemetery”, and in the “General state of preservation” paragraph: “There are pits as the result of sand extraction, rubbish dump, and numerous human bones”. As for existing threats, the author of the Charter indicated: “The area does not function as a cemetery in the public awareness.” Currently, the area is overgrown with vegetation. There are no tombstones, the boundaries of the cemetery are imperceptible, and there is no form of commemoration. The cemetery is listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Łódzkie Voivodeship.

The first records of Jews in Drzewica date to the 18th century. In 1765, there was a kehilla (organized Jewish community) in the village. In 1921, 1,013 Jews lived in the village (61% of the population), most of whom were killed by the Germans in Treblinka in 1942.