Skalbmierz Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Świetokrzyskie Voivodeship
District
Kazimierza Wielka
Settlement
Skalbmierz
Site address
The cemetery is located in a rural area on the western outskirts of Skalbmierz. Heading south via national road 783 to Rosiejów and Miechów, stop at the last house (No.59) in Skalbmierz on the western side of the road. Proceed through the fields behind the house in a north-westerly direction for 230m. The cemetery is located on the top of the hill among the fields.
GPS coordinates
50.3177438, 20.3837585
Perimeter length
143 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
It is a destroyed Jewish cemetery. There is a commemorative plaque on the site informing that a Jewish cemetery existed in this place before World War II. The cemetery is surrounded with fields in agricultural use. The ground is covered with wild grass and the western part of the cemetery is overgrown with bushes.
Number of existing gravestones
The field team found 4 stone fragments, which may have been pieces of matzevot or pedestrals. Those stones were found lying on the ground, covered with moss and grass. The inscriptions were not found, due to the location of the tombstones.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
State
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

Skalbmierz was granted town rights in 1344 and it was a bishop’s town. Until the second half of the 18th century, Jews were forbidden from settling there. The community did not begin to develop until the 19th century. In 1868, Jews constituted 8% of the population, and 30 years later, the Jewish community constituted 28.5% of the population (359 people). The organized Jewish community (kehilla) was established in the first years of the 20th century. In 1901, a synagogue was built. In 1921, 609 Jews lived among 1,715 inhabitants in Skalbmierz. In 1939, the community numbered 430 people. During the war, no ghetto was established in the city. A ban on leaving the town, however, was introduced. Jews were forced to build a road towards Miechów. About 1,000 Jews from Krakow were transported to Skalbmierz. On August 29, 1942, most of the Jews were deported to the transit camp in Słomniki, and then to the death camp in Bełżec.

The Jewish cemetery was likely established at the end of the 19th century on a hill west of the town. It was shaped like a trapezoid and was originally surrounded by a stone wall. The cemetery was destroyed during the German occupation. Currently, the area remains overgrown and unfenced. In the south-eastern corner of the cemetery, a dozen or so fragments of matzevot have been preserved. In 1982, a monument with a Hebrew-Polish plaque was erected in the northern part of the cemetery, which reads: “This is the cemetery of the Jews of Skalbmierz who lived here before the extermination by the Germans in 1942.” The cemetery was listed in the Provincial Register of Monuments in 2018.