Sierpc Jewish Cemetery
A Jewish community existed in Sierpc no later than 1739. In 1910, 3,895 Jews lived in the town, and 2,861 in 1921 (42.6% of the total population). Most of Sierpc’s Jews were killed in Treblinka and Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War II.
The cemetery is located about 1.5 km southeast of the city centre, on Władysława Jagiełły Street, and covers a plot of approximately 2.2 hectares. While the cemetery’s establishment date is unknown, its existence was first recorded in 1775. The cemetery was destroyed during World War II when, by order of the Germans, the tombstones were used to reinforce the roads.
The deterioration and destruction of the cemetery progressed in the post-war years. On October 9, 1961, the Minister of Municipal Economy signed an order to close the cemetery. Thanks to the efforts of the Sierpc Jews and their descendants, Rabbi Eliakim Schlesinger from the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe, and other organizations, various initiatives were undertaken in the cemetery, including returning recovered matzevot, partial fencing, and cleaning projects. Presently, however, the cemetery is in terrible condition. The area is overgrown, and a football field was built in the cemetery.
In the north-western part of the cemetery, there is a fenced plot, approximately 30 x 48 m in size, where a monument dedicated to Holocaust victims was erected and about 200 destroyed matzevot were placed. In 2009, the wooden mortuary—one of the last wooden historical treasures of Jewish material culture in Europe—collapsed. The owner of the cemetery is the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage and the facility is listed in the Provincial Register of Monuments. Partial lists of preserved matzevot are available at https://cemetery.jewish.org.pl/list/c_24 and http://cmentarza-zydowskie.pl/sierpc.htm.