Lomza Old Jewish Cemetery
The first records of Jews in Łomża date back to the end of the 15th century. Restrictions on Jewish settlement were introduced in 1598. The Jewish community began to revive at the turn of the 19th century. In 1921, 9,131 Jews (41% of the total population) lived in the city and, in 1941-1943, most of them were killed by the Germans in nearby Giełczyn and in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The cemetery is located about 450 m southeast of the old market square, on a hill above the Narew River, between Woziwodzka Street, Zielony Square, and Rybaki Street, and covers a rectangular plot of land with an area of 1.47 hectares. The cemetery is in the immediate vicinity of the former village of Rybaki, where the Jews lived after they were expelled from Łomża in 1598. According to various sources, the cemetery was established either in 1822 or 1833. According to the authors of the Memorial Book of the Jewish Community in Łomża, it was established on the site of the cemetery used in the 16th century, but this information is not confirmed by other sources. Around 1852, the cemetery was fenced and expanded. The gradual degradation of the cemetery likely began during the war and continued through the following years. Gravel was taken out of the cemetery and tombstones were stolen. In 1964, the Minister of Municipal Economy signed an order to close the cemetery. The documentation prepared by the Office for Religious Affairs in 1981 stated the following: “The area is not fenced, there is a minimum number of visible graves, tombstones made of natural stone are devastated. The graves are covered with grass, and they collapsed.” In 1988, city authorities cleaned up the cemetery and established a lapidary. Currently, there are about 300-400 tombstones made of granite fieldstones in the cemetery, most of which were re-arranged in several clusters. There is no fence, and the borders are imperceptible. There are paved paths in the cemetery and the are is covered with grass. In the western part, there are deciduous trees. The owner of the cemetery is the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage. The facility is listed in the Municipal and Provincial Register of Monuments and the Register of Immovable Monuments.