Maszewo Jewish Cemetery
On November 13, 2021, the ESJF received the following information from Mr. Wojciech Janda, chairman of the “Biały Grosz” Association:
1) The gravestones from the cemetery are currently located in the church area in the town centre of Maszewo.
2) The case is still pending in the prosecutor’s office. Mr. Janda was summoned for questioning 3 times because he was the person who caused the cemetery to enter the register of monuments. Also because he was the first to report the devastation and was the first to be there, taking pictures and stopping the excavator’s work.
4) The plot on which the cemetery is located belong to the Maszewo commune. It was sold to a private person, despite the knowledge that there was a Jewish cemetery in this place and despite the fact that the plot was entered in the register of monuments.
The Jewish cemetery in Maszewo is located on the eastern side of Starogardzka Street and occupies a geodetic plot number 320403_4.0003.580/2, resembling a rectangle, with an area of 589 square meters.
The cemetery was established probably after 1812. The building was gradually devastated. At the beginning of the 21st century, the cemetery area was neglected and overgrown with wild vegetation. Within it, there were single tombstones and relics of a demolished brick wall.
In 2016, the Goleniów Association of Historical Exploration “Biały Grosz” led the cemetery to be entered into the register of monuments.
On August 29, 2017, the owner of the plot, in connection with the planned investment, commissioned the cemetery to be leveled. Bulldozers leveled its area, revealing tombstones and destroying some of the graves. The Ombudsman and the Provincial Conservator of Monuments in Szczecin intervened in the case and ordered the work to be suspended.
The tombstones were secured at the local church. Based on the available iconographic material, it was possible to read the data of some of the deceased:
• Mina (?) Mosses née Behrendt, born on January 28, 1840, died in 1913,
• Avraham, son of Yakov, born on 1 Cheshvan […], died on September 28, 1916,
• Helene Falkenstein,
• Moses Behrendt, born on December 25, 1815, died on November 18, 1893,
• Hugo Behrendt, merchant, died on August 5, 1891.
The last burial in the Maszewo cemetery took place in February 1933, when the elderly Louis Lübschütz was buried there. This funeral was also an image of the change that had taken place in the relations between the Jews and the Christian population of the city since Hitler took power. Earlier, many residents would attend the funeral of such a famous citizen, regardless of his religion. Only one Christian participated in Louis Lübschütz’s funeral – the carpenter Richard Panzer.
Even in 1938, all the tombstones were still in the cemetery. As a rule, they were made in a very simple way, and the older ones only had inscriptions in Hebrew. However – as Friedrich Piepenburg wrote – as a result of Kristallnacht (November 9-10, 1938), the Jewish cemetery in Maszewo was destroyed. All the monuments were dismantled and the trees were cut halfway up. The red brick wall surrounding the cemetery was knocked over by crowbars.