Opoczno New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Łódzkie Voivodeship
District
Opoczno
Settlement
Opoczno
Site address
23, Limanowskiego Street.
GPS coordinates
51.3715661, 20.2807188
Perimeter length
325 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
It is a demolished Jewish cemetery. Currently, there is a park on the site of the cemetery. On one of the paths there is a stone, which is potentially a fragment of a matzevot. There is an unmarked mass grave of the people who were executed at the site during WW2.
Number of existing gravestones
1 fragment. On one of the paths there is a stone, wwhich is potentially a fragment of a matzevot.
Date of oldest tombstone
N/A
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Other
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

Opoczno was founded at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries under the Środa law. The first records of the Jewish population in Opoczno are from 1501. In 1646, Jews received a permit to build a synagogue and establish a cemetery. In 1667, the town was inhabited by 401 people, including 32 Jews. In 1790, there were 477 Jews (42.7% of the total population), in 1863 – 1703 (57.1%). The Jewish community owned a brick synagogue, a cheder, a brick bathhouse, and two cemeteries. Opoczno was a promiment center of Hasidism. According to data from 1937, 3,400 Jews lived in Opoczno during that period. At the end of 1940, the Germans established a ghetto in Opoczno. The liquidation of the ghetto began on October 27, 1942. Nearly 3,000 people were transported to the death camp at Treblinka, and 200 people died during the liquidation of the ghetto. The 500 Jews who were left in the town were transported to the temporary camp in Ujazd, and then later on to the extermination camp at Treblinka.

The new Jewish cemetery in Opoczno is located at 23 Limanowskiego Street. Currently, Tysiąclecia Park is located on the former necropolis. The cemetery was established in 1829 and remained open until the end of the 1930s. It functioned again during World War II, as the Germans forbade the use of the other cemetery outside the city. There are mass graves of the victims of executions carried out by the Germans in the Jewish cemetery. After the end of World War II, in 1945, the remains of three people were exhumed from Trojanowice, as well as an officer in the Polish Army of Jewish origin, and were reburied in the Opoczno cemetery. These reburials were probably the last burials that took place there.

After 1949, the defacing of the cemetery began. The local population stole matzevot and fragments of the wall and used them as building material. In the 1960s, a park was established in the area of the ruined cemetery. From 1976 – 1980, construction of a rainwater drainage system was conducted on the former grounds. No matzevot have survived. Only fragments of tombstones in the form of rubble have remained. A small fragment of the fence from the side of the river has also been preserved. Fragments of matzevot found after the war are in the Regional Museum in Opoczno. Some of them can be seen at the permanent exhibition, others, in the castle area along the wall at Szewska Street.