Nowy Targ Jewish Cemetery
The first confirmed records of Jews living in Nowy Targ date to the mid-17th century. In 1921, 1,342 Jews lived in the town (about 16% of the entire population), most of whom were killed by the Germans in 1942. The cemetery is located about 1.10 km south-east of the market square, at Jana Pawła II, and covers an irregularly shaped plot with an area of approximately 0.58 hectares (according to data from the Ministry of Municipal Economy from 1964 the area is 1 hectare). The cemetery’s establishment date is unknown, though, based on the earliest tombstones in the cemetery, it was founded no later than 1869. In 1880, the Hasidic rabbi Jakow Jokil Hirsz, a student of Chaim Halberstam from Nowy Sącz, was buried in the cemetery. During World War II, the cemetery was a used as a plce for executions. On August 30, 1942, the Germans shot between several hundred and 2,000 people. Their bodies are buried in mass graves. The devastation of the cemetery began at this time, led by the Germans and some residents of Nowy Targ. The cemetery continued to decay in later years. In 1945, the District Jewish Committee in Nowy Targ erected a monument over the mass grave of the Holocaust victims. The last person to be buried in the cemetery was Dawid Grassgruen, who was shot and killed on February 10, 1946. On November 4, 1964, the Minister of Municipal Economy signed an order to close the cemetery.
In 1990, the Jewish community of Nowy Targ and Podhale cleaned up the cemetery. In 2005, at the initiative of Rabbi Mendel Reichberg, a new tombstone commemorating Rabbi Jakow Jokil Hirsz was erected. At the cemetery, there are no fewer than several dozen stelae with legible inscriptions (a partial list is available at http://cmentarza-zydowskie.pl/nowytarg.htm), numerous foundations of destroyed tombstones, and post-war monuments honouring the victims of the Holocaust. The area is fenced.