Opoczno Newest Jewish Cemetery
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 – 1,703 (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 in 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.
Due to the overcrowding of the new Jewish cemetery on Limanowskiego Street in the 1930s, the Jewish community decided to establish another cemetery. They purchased a plot of land next to the so-called choleric cemetery, near the intersection of Powstańców Wielkopolskich Street and Słoneczna Street. The triangle-shaped area was demarcated by Słoneczna Street, Powstańców Wielkopolskich Street, and a field road (today it is a path between buildings on Słoneczna Street and blocks on Partyzantów Street). A funeral house, a caretaker’s apartment, and a gate were built in the cemetery, and the construction of a fence began. About twenty people were buried there until the start of the war. After the outbreak of World War II, the Germans banned burials in the necropolis, some of its buildings were demolished and the matzevot were destroyed. In the second half of the 1950s, sewage systems were installed in the cemetery. The local authorities at the time designated the area for building a housing development. A short time thereafter, a dozen or so single-family houses were built there. There are no remains of the cemetery nor a plaque or sign indicating the existence of a former cemetery.