Sosnowiec-Modrzejow Jewish Cemetery
Jews have lived in Modrzejów (Mrowisko until 1706, Modrzewo from 1706-1711) since at least the 17th century. The development of the Jewish settlement started at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1865, there were 522 inhabitants in Modrzejów, including 444 Jews. In 1915, the town was incorporated into Sosnowiec.
The cemetery of the Jewish community in Modrzejów was probably established at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, no later than in the 1830s. Before that, all deceased from Modrzejów were buried in Będzin. The cemetery was established in the south-western part of the town, between the developed area and the Przemsza River, which now sits on Pastewna street. The irregularly shaped site had an area of around 0.33 ha.
The cemetery has undergone extensive destruction. Most of the tombstones were stolen from the cemetery, moved from the original burial site, or damaged. The fence of the cemetery was also destroyed (in 1986, there was a mention of “wall relics”). For many years, the area was overgrown with dense vegetation. Some tombstones have degraded due to chemical compounds emitted by nearby industrial plants.
In the early 1990s, the cemetery was cleaned up thanks to the initiative of the Zagłębie Jews Association. Around 250 tombstones were placed on concrete plinths. The area was surrounded by a steel fence. Two monuments to the victims of the Holocaust, stylised as matzevot were unveiled. The solemn completion of the restoration of the cemetery took place on August 30, 1993, on the 50th anniversary of the extermination of the local Jews. Within the cemetery, there are around 300 tombstones in various conditions. The oldest identified tombstone is dated 1839. The youngest one is dated 1936.
The cemetery is owned by the Jewish Community of Katowice, which takes care of its maintenance The building is listed in the Provincial Register of Monuments. It is not entered in the Register of Real Estate Monuments. The list of preserved tombstones is available at http://cmentarza-zydowskie.pl/sosnowiec.html .