Radom Jewish Cemetery
Radom was founded as a royal city in 1364 under the Magdeburg Law. Jews were living within the city limits of Radom from at least the 16th century, on the southern side of the city walls in the Starost’s jurisdiction, where a Jewish district was established. From 1567, there are recorded references to a “Żydowska Street,” the location of which is unknown. In 1724 and in 1746 there were orders to evict Jews living in Radom. In the 1830’s, the Jewish community in Radom established a kehilla and, in 1837, a cemetery was established. In 1844, a brick synagogue and other community facilities were built. In 1938, among 85,113 inhabitants living in the city, 24,745 were Jewish (29% of the population). After World War II, around only 300 Jews lived in Radom until the 1950’s.
In 1831, as a result of a cholera epidemic, the local authorities allowed the Jewish community to establish an epidemic cemetery, which was recognized in 1837 as a communal cemetery. Prior to this, Jews of Radom buried their relatives in the Jewish cemeteries in Przytyk and Kozienice. The cemetery was built about 4 km northeast of the market square, in the village of Dzierzków. In the years 1860, 1902, and 1911, the cemetery was enlarged. Ultimately, the cemetery covered a rectangular plot of land with an area of approximately 5 hectares (which remains the case today). It was enclosed with a brick wall and gate, and the funeral home was located adjacent to the cemetery. During World War I, quarters for Jewish soldiers were established in the cemetery. During World War II, the cemetery was completely destroyed, and the tombstones were used for construction purposes. Numerous Jews killed in the Radom Ghetto were buried in mass graves.
After the war, the cemetery was in use until 1951. In the years 1948–1949, the bodies of Jews exhumed from the neighbouring forced labour camps were reburied there. Since 1989, some restoration work has been done in the cemetery including re-enclosing it with a brick wall and a gate. A monument in honour of the Jews who fought for Polish independence was erected in the cemetery. Holocaust victims were honoured with a lapidarium and a mausoleum. Matzevot recovered in the city were placed along the main alley of the cemetery, while others were mounted onto the wall and monuments. Tombstones are still being found and placed back in the cemetery. Currently, there are about 400 tombstones in the cemetery, mainly traditional sandstone stelae (the oldest one dates to 1837).