Jozefow nad Wisla Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Lublin Voivodeship
District
Opole
Settlement
Józefów nad Wisłą
Site address
The cemetery is located 300m past No.46A Urzędowska street, along the dirt road.
GPS coordinates
51.03853, 21.83908
Perimeter length
587,32 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is overgrown with dense bushes and is in a poor condition. There was a lot of rubbish found at the site.
Number of existing gravestones
7. There is 1 well preserved matzevah and 6 fragments, it seems that all of them are located in situ. The only preserved matzevah is at the back of the cemetery near to the fruit orchards.
Date of oldest tombstone
1892
Date of newest tombstone
1904
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
State
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

Jews began to settle in Józefów shortly after the town was founded (1687), probably at the end of the 1780’s. The founding privilege gave people of all faiths the equal right to settle in the town. By the 18th century, Jews had become the largest group of the city’s inhabitants. In 1861, 1,454 Jews lived in Józefów, constituting 85% of the total population. World War I and fires caused the town to decline. In 1915, there were only 215 inhabitants. In the years preceding World War II, settlement began to increase again, but the positive trend was interrupted by the War. During the German occupation, there were two forced labour camps in the town. On May 7, 1942, the Germans deported 1,270 Jews from Józefów to the death camp in Sobibór.

The Jewish cemetery was established in the second half of the 17th century. At the beginning of the next century, it was mentioned in the city records. The oldest tombstone dates to 1702. The cemetery covered an area of 1.3 hectares and was situated among fields, outside the town, south-east of the market square. The last burials took place there in 1942. After World War II, the cemetery gradually deteriorated, and in 1972 it was liquidated with the consent of the Voivodeship Monument Conservator in Lublin. A garbage dump was established in a part of the former cemetery. About 150 tombstones have survived in the cemetery, most of which are displaced and broken. There are also rows of tombstone bases indicating the layout of the burials. There are 20 stelae with fully legible and complete inscriptions. The cemetery is still frequently littered, and local farmers use it, among other things, for storing the grubbed-up roots of fruit trees.