Kosow Lacki New Jewish Cemetery
The new Jewish cemetery in Kosów Lacki was probably established in the 19th century, south of the town centre, on the eastern side of the road to the village of Telaki. It covered an area of about 3 hectares. During World War II, it was destroyed by the Germans, and the tombstones were used to harden the Black Road in Treblinka. The cemetery was also used for carrying out mass executions and for burying people shot in the town. During the liquidation of the ghetto, at least 150 people were shot in the cemetery.
According to information from Czesław “Gozdawa” Zawadzki, since 1942, Jews who died in trains and were killed during transportation to Treblinka were also buried there in 100-metre-deep pits that were dug at night. After the war, the area of the new cemetery was forested as part of public service. The boundaries of the cemetery are partially visible thanks to the fragments of the damaged fence. The exhibit in the Museum in Treblinka includes several fragments of matzevot, excavated from the site of the former camp. They most probably come from the Jewish cemeteries in Kosów Lacki.
The first records of Kosów Lacki date to 1417. However, Kosów Lacki did not obtain rights similar to town rights until 1778. Jewish settlement probably began there at the end of the 17th century. At that time, a synagogue and the first cemetery were also established. In 1827, Jews constituted 100% of the town’s population (315 inhabitants). An independent Jewish community was established in the town around that time. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the community continued to develop and numbered over 90% of the population.
In 1921, among 1,362 inhabitants, there were 1,316 Jews. At the end of 1939, the Germans recognized the town as “Judenstadt,” treating it as an open ghetto. Jews from Mława, Wyszków, and Kalisz were also imprisoned there. In the spring of 1941, some streets were fenced, which formed a closed ghetto. Some Jews were forced to work in the Treblinka I camp. The liquidation of the ghetto began on September 22, 1942, and lasted three days. Most of the Jews were transported to the extermination camp in Treblinka II.