Piotrkow Trybunalski Old Jewish Cemetery
Piotrków Trybunalski was founded as a royal city under the Magdeburg Law after 1292.The city rights were renewed in 1404. From at least the 16th century, Jews were forbidden to live within the city walls. The ban was lifted in 1797, but it was not strictly followed (in 1629, the Jewish Street in the eastern part of the city was mentioned). From the 16th century, Jews lived in the “jurydyki” and suburbs, mainly in Podzamcze and Wielka Wieś, in the east of the city. In 1657, during the “Swedish Deluge”, the army of Hetman Czarniecki committed a pogrom against Jews. About 50 families were murdered, and the remaining Jews were expelled from Piotrków. In 1679, King Jan III Sobieski issued a privilege allowing Jews to return to their former premises, establish a kehilla, and erect kehilla facilities. A synagogue complex with a cemetery was established in Podzamcze. From the middle of the 19th century until the interwar period, Piotrków was the place where various tzadiks resided. From 1864, it was a strong center of Hebrew printing. In 1929, among approximately 49 thousand inhabitants, there were about 11 thousand Jews (28%). After World War II, Piotrków was inhabited by over 100 Jews.
The first Jewish cemetery was established under the Royal Privilege of 1679. Previously, the Jews of Piotrków belonged to the community in Rozprza, and they buried their dead relatives there. The old cemetery was located approximately 450 m northeast of the market square, on the eastern side of the synagogue. It functioned until 1795. The original area is unknown. In the second quarter of the 19th century, during the adjustment of the city borders, the outermost parts of the cemetery (apart from the eastern one) were used for the construction of the new street (today’s Wojska Polskiego Street) and for hospital buildings. In the interwar period, the cemetery was shaped like an irregular trapezoid with an area of about 0.15 ha. It remains this way now. The cemetery was densely covered with wild vegetation and tombstones collapsed into the ground. During World War II, the necropolis was completely devastated. The neglected, empty square was cleaned in 2008. A memorial rock and plaque informing about the existence of a cemetery were placed at the site.The area is fenced with a low wall, overgrown with a few trees and grass. No tombstones from the cemetery have been found.