Seroczyn Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Masovian Voivodeship
District
Siedlce
Settlement
Seroczyn
Site address
13, Gliniana Street.
GPS coordinates
52.0132655, 21.9168797
Perimeter length
392 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
yes
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished Jewish cemetery that has not been built over
General site condition
The Jewish cemetery is situated in the north-western part of the village Seroczyn. The territory of the cemetery is a wooded area, not fenced, but not overgrown. The Municipality owns the property and the adjacent lands are in agricultural and residential use. The cemetery was demolished during WWII and restored between 2011-2015. Tombstones were returned to the area and information signs about the history of the Jews of the town and the cemetery were installed.
Number of existing gravestones
30. No tombstones in situ have been preserved. Several dozen matzevot were returned to the cemetery in the years 2011- 2015 and installed in the ground. Our field team discovered 20 standing intact and 10 fragments of tombstones. The granite tombstones and memorial markers, finely smoothed and inscribed, have Hebrew inscriptions.
Date of oldest tombstone
1851
Date of newest tombstone
1873, 1875, 1889
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

In 1704, Marek Ajzykowicz and his father Ajzyk Wolfowicz were tenants in Seroczyn for a year. Jewish settlement began to develop in Seroczyn at the end of the 18th century. In 1921, 179 Jews lived in the village, most of whom were murdered in 1942 by the Germans in Treblinka.

The cemetery is located about 280 metres northwest of the village centre, on Gliniana Street, and covers a square plot of land with an area of 0.7824 hectares. The cemetery was likely established in the first half of the 19th century. There is a recorded mention of a kehilla in Seroczyn in 1820 and income from funerals was recorded in 1830. At the beginning of the 20th century, the cemetery had a wooden fence with a roofed gate. During World War II, the cemetery began to deteriorate. By order of the Germans, some tombstones were used to reinforce the roads and Seroczyn residents participated in the destruction process. Almost all of the matzevot and cemetery infrastructure were removed. The boundaries of the cemetery, however, were visible thanks to a preserved trench. On December 19, 1963, the Minister of Municipal Economy—in response to the resolution of the Presidium of the Municipal National Council dated August 28, 1962—signed an order to close the cemetery. The justification states:

“The last burial took place in 1943 and the cemetery has been closed since then. The cemetery is […] neglected, unfenced, overgrown with wild vegetation. There are no brick tombs. There are no tombstones on the graves. The cemetery needs to be cleaned up.”

In 2011, local community workers recovered over 20 matzevot in the village. In 2012, at the initiative of the Bogusław Werner Club in Seroczyn, the cemetery was cleaned. In 2013, an information board was placed at the entrance and, in 2014, the cemetery was cleaned by the Nissenbaum Family Foundation. In 2015, about 20 recovered matzevot were transported to the cemetery. Damian Lewandowski, a resident of Seroczyn, is the custodian of the cemetery. The cemetery is listed in the Provincial Register of Monuments.