Katowice Jewish Cemetery
Jews began to settle in Katowice in the mid-19th century. In 1900, 2,264 of the city’s residents were Jewish (7% of the total population). During World War II, the Jews of Katowice were transported to other cities, most of whom were killed in the following years. After the War, some 1,500 Jews settled in Katowice again, mainly those who were deported from the USSR. Currently, Katowice has an active Jewish community and a Social and Cultural Society of Polish Jews.
The cemetery is located approximately 1 km southwest from the city square, between Kozielska and Nad Osiekiem Streets, and covers an irregularly shaped plot of land with an acreage of 9,806 square metres. The land intended for the cemetery was given to the kehilla in 1868. In the following year construction was finished on the mortuary in the neo-Gothic style. The official opening of the cemetery took place on September 9th,1869. The first person to be buried there was Carl Baruch Münzer, who died on December 20th, 1869. In the following years, the cemetery’s area was expanded. In 1890 a chevra kadisha (burial society) building was erected. In 1927–1928, the mortuary was renovated in the neoclassical style. After 1945 the cemetery was used by the Congregation of the Jewish Faith in Katowice. The cemetery is in active use and burials still take place.
Within the cemetery there are approximately 1,000 tombstones in varying states of preservation, which are styled in differently (e.g., stelae, crypts, etc.). The surrounding wall, mortuary, and chevra kadisha building have fallen into disrepair. The cemetery is wooded (e.g., with birch, chestnut, and linden trees), and the ground is largely covered by ivy. The cemetery is owned by the Katowice Jewish Community. In 2019 the local government was approved by the community to take ownership of the cemetery buildings. The cemetery is part of the Immovable Monuments Registry. A partial list of preserved tombstones is available at https://sztetl.org.pl/pl/miejscowosci/k/398-katowice/115-pamiec-w-kamieniu/15423-cmentarz-zydowski-w-katowicach-ul-kozielska-16-.