Modliborzyce Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Lublin Voivodeship
District
Janów
Settlement
Modliborzyce
Site address
The cemetery is located on Leśna Street, in the southern part of the village, on a small hill by the road from Modliborzyce to Majdan. It is adjacent to No.39 Sadowa street and opposite to No.26 Leśna street.
GPS coordinates
50.74755, 22.33097
Perimeter length
400,07 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished Jewish cemetery that has not been built over
General site condition
It is a demolished Jewish Cemetery, overgrown with woods, located on a small hill. No traces of the cemetery have been preserved.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved.
Date of oldest tombstone
N/A
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Other
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

The town of Modliborzyce was founded in 1631 under Magdeburg law as a private town. Jews lived in the town from the time of its founding (the earliest mentions date to 1637). In 1674 34 Jews lived among 146 residents. A synagogue was erected approximately 150 metres northeast of the town square. In 1867, Jews accounted for 585 of the town’s 960 residents (61% of the total population), and 957 of 1913 residents in 1921 (50%). During World War II the Germans destroyed the kehilla buildings and only the synagogue survived. In 1942 Jews in the Modliborzyce Ghetto were transported to Kraśnik and from there to the death camp in Bełżec.

The earliest recorded mention of a Jewish cemetery dates to 1738, though it does not specify a location. (It is possible that the first cemetery was located by the synagogue, but no existing records support this theory.) The existing cemetery is located approximately 600 metres south of the town square, next to a local road, outside the town limits. The cemetery was expanded on its eastern side and, by the end of the 19th century, it covered an irregularly shaped plot of land measuring 0.96 hectares. It was moreover surrounded by a low stone wall. During World War II the cemetery was destroyed. During the time when Jews were forced to live in the Modliborzyce Ghetto, several dozen people were murdered a day in the cemetery and their bodies were buried in mass graves (which were not marked). After the War, the cemetery fell into disrepair. At some point, several concrete pillars—which were part of a new electrical grid—ran through the cemetery. The area of the cemetery is densely forested and overgrown. There remain no signs of the cemetery and its boundaries are imperceptible. No tombstones have been found outside of the cemetery.