Nowy Wisnicz Jewish Cemetery
The first Jews settled in Nowy Wiśnicz in the 17th century. In 1921 there were 1,812 Jewish residents (48% of the total population), the majority of whom were killed in 1942 by the Germans in Bełżec. The cemetery is located approximately 400 metres southwest of the town square, on a hill at the intersection of Limanowska and Żydowska Streets, on an irregularly shaped plot of land measuring 2.05 hectares. The cemetery was most likely founded at the beginning of the 17th century. The first written record of its existence dates to June 14th, 1641. It was the burial site for residents of Nowy Wiśnicz as well as adjacent villages, including Lipnice, Łapanów, Sobolowo, Zbydniowo, and, from 1872, Bochnia. The cemetery was surrounded by a stone wall. Beside the entrance was a single-story, rectangular stone building with a gabled roof that served as the mortuary. Rebbe Naftaly Rubin was buried in the cemetery in 1939 and Eleazar Rubin—who was killed by the Germans—was buried there in 1949.
During World War II, the cemetery was used for carrying out executions. The destruction of the cemetery likely began around that time and continued through the following decades. In 1959, part of the area was taken over by an asphalt factory and a construction depot. Tombstones were frequently stolen by town residents, and the wall and mortuary were taken apart. On November 4th, 1964, the Minister for Local Economy signed a by-law to close the cemetery. At the beginning of the 1980’s, thanks to the efforts of Abush and Josef Hirsch, the asphalt factory was removed from the premises, a memorial was erected in honour of the victims of the Holocaust, the local ohel was rebuilt, and the cemetery was re-fenced. There are currently approximately 650 tombstones in the cemetery, in various degrees of preservation, the oldest of which dates to 1639. The cemetery is owned by the Kraków Jewish Community and it is part of the local and voivodeship registers of historical landmarks and immovable monuments.