Gabin Jewish Cemetery
Gąbin was a royal town founded under the Chełmno law in 1322. The first mention of the Jewish community dates back to 1507. In 1637, Awraham Abele Gombiner, a Talmudist, author of Magen Awraham, was born there. The winner of the Itzik Manger award – Rejzel Żychlińska also came from Gąbin. In 1658, the town was almost completely destroyed by a fire.
The Jewish community began to revive in the 18th century, especially after 1765, although already in 1710 it owned a wooden synagogue. In 1939, 2,312 Jews lived in the town, which constituted over 40% of the town’s population. During World War II, in August 1941, a ghetto was established in the town, and around 2,100 people were confined there. In April 1942, the Jews concentrated in the ghetto were transported to the extermination camp in Chełmno. The Jewish cemetery was established in 1768. It was located north of the town center and its area was 1.5 ha.
It was devastated during the Nazi occupation. Only a dozen (often broken) tombstones remained in the necropolis, and the rest were used to harden roads and a bridge and to build curbs at Browarna Street and Moniuszki Street. In 1944, an anti-tank ditch was led through the necropolis. After the war, the cemetery was left unattended, serving as an illegal dumping ground and a makeshift football pitch. In 1993, heavy rains revealed the tombstones used to strengthen the bridge over the Nida River.
Thanks to the cooperation of the descendants of the Gąbin Jews, the Nissenbaum Family Foundation, the Wiecznej Pamięci Foundation, the town authorities, and the Association of Gąbin Enthusiasts, the cemetery was fenced in 1999, and a lapidarium was built from the recovered matzevot. The oldest tombstones identified at that time comes from 1836, and the youngest one – from 1938. The cemetery was rededicated on August 16, 1999. In 2011, repair works on the monument and the lapidarium were carried out. Until now, about 60 tombstones or fragments of matzevot have been preserved at the Jewish cemetery in Gąbin. On June 9, 2021, a plaque commemorating the Jewish community of the city was unveiled in the Old Market Square.