Ostroleka Jewish Cemetery
Jewish settlement in Ostrołęka began to develop in the first years of the 19th century. 4,564 Jews lived in the town in 1897 (57.3% of the total population), and 3,352 in 1921 (36.6%). In October 1939, the Germans expelled the Jews from Ostrołęka. A significant number of them managed to get to Soviet Union-occupied territories, and the rest were exterminated in the ghettos in Vilnius and Słonim. The cemetery is located about 1.1 km south of the city centre, near Stefczyka, Kędzierskiego, Korczaka, Poznańska, Jaracza, and 6 Września Streets.
It was likely established around 1822 when the synagogue supervision in Ostrołęka received funding, but the exact date remains unknown. The cemetery served as the burial place for Jews from Ostrołęka and the surrounding villages, including Andrzejewo Czarnów, Czerwin, Kaczyna, and Wólka Brzezińska. Before World War II, the cemetery’s area of approximately 3.6 hectares was fenced with a wall, and partially covered with trees.
After 1939, the cemetery was partially destroyed, and continued to degrade after 1945. The area was gradually built over. In the northern part, an estate of single-family houses was built. Korczaka Street was built through the cemetery. A school and a complex of childcare institutions were also built in the southern part of the cemetery. The boundaries and above-ground traces of the cemetery have vanished.
In 1989, at the initiative of Jews from Ostrołęka, a commemorative plaque was unveiled at Poznańska Street. In 1991, a monument, to which fragments of matzevot were attached, was erected. In 2004, the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland applied to regain ownership of the cemetery grounds. The procedure was unsuccessful. Between 2008 and 2009, during the reconstruction of Korczaka, the graves were compromised. In 2010, the bones dug up during the construction work were reburied next to the monument at Poznańska Street. The cemetery is listed in the Provincial Register of Monuments.