Polaniec Jewish Cemetery
The first Jewish settlement in Połaniec dates back to the 16th century. In 1921, 980 Jews, which was 38% of the total population, lived in the town. The majority of them were killed by the Germans in Treblinka in the fall of 1942.
The cemetery is located around 200m east of the market square, between 15 and 17 Partyzantów Street (formerly Kierkucka Street). From the north-east, the cemetery adjoins the Czarna River.
The cemetery was established around 1647, after the rights had been granted by King Władysław IV Waza. In 1765, the local kehilla received a guarantee from Stanisław August Poniatowski that “they would have a trench for burying the dead in a separate place”.
During World War II, the cemetery became the place of execution and burial of the Holocaust victims, including people killed on October 18th and 19th 1942, during the deportation of Połaniec’s Jews to Staszów. It is likely that the last funeral took place in the spring of 1945, following the murder of the Berger family. The devastation of the cemetery probably began during the war.
On October 9th 1957, the Presidium of the National Council in Połaniec adopted a resolution to close the cemetery. In October 1961, the Congregation of the Mosaic Faith in Łódź received a notification about the plans to build an agronomic house and garages on the site of the cemetery. On June 26th 1964, the Minister of Municipal Economy signed an order to close the cemetery and authorized its usage for other purposes. The accompanying documentation states that the cemetery covered a plot of 0.6 hectares, and that the last burial took place in 1945.
As a result of the destruction, all traces of the cemetery on the ground-level are invisible. The area is not fenced, neglected, overgrown with vegetation. There are visible traces of sand excavation.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the Poland Jewish Cemetery Restoration Project planned to secure and commemorate the cemetery, which has not happened.
The owner of the cemetery is the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage. The cemetery is listed in the Provincial Monuments Register (E-1987-08-31).