Stopnica New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Świetokrzyskie Voivodeship
District
Busko Zdrój
Settlement
Stopnica
Site address
64, Tadeusza Kościuszki Street. The demolished cemetery is located on the southern side of the Stopnica-Klępie Dolne road. The northern part of the cemetery is now overbuilt with a plot of land at 64. Tadeusza Kościuszki Street.
GPS coordinates
50.437623, 20.958974
Perimeter length
470 metres. This is the approximate perimeter. The Exact delineation of the perimeter requires additional research.
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The destroyed Jewish cemetery is located in the western outskirts of Stopnica. The northern part of the cemetery has been overbuilt with a power grid. The southern part of the cemetery is used as a field and for cattle grazing. Few traces of its existence have survived: there are 5 fragments of tombstones hidden in thick grass and the remains of an old fence.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved. 5 fragments of tombstones were found hidden in thick grass.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

The first records of Jewish inhabitants in Stopnica come from 1579. The first known synagogue was built in 1616, and in 1640, a kehilla was established. Between 1754 and 1759, the Seym of the Four Lands took place in the town. In 1921, 3,226 Jews lived in Stopnica, which was 75.5% of the total population. The majority of them were murdered by the Germans in Treblinka in November 1942.

The cemetery is located approximately 1.4km south-east of the market square, on the southern side of T. Kościuszko Street, and its site is shaped like an elongated rectangle. The cemetery was likely established in the 19th century, however the exact date of establishment is unknown.

During World War II, the Germans carried out executions at the cemetery, and the victims were buried in the cemetery. Between November 5th & 6th 1942, during the liquidation of the ghetto, around 400 people were shot at the cemetery, mostly old people and children. Later, likely in 1944, the bodies were dug up and burnt.

During the war, the devastation of the cemetery began. It is likely that some tombstones were removed on the recommendation of the Germans. After 1945, the cemetery was used as farmland and pasture.

On June 26th 1964, the Minister of Municipal Economy issued a decision to close the cemetery, and on March 31st 1970, issued another declaration that the land should be reused for other uses. The attached justification states: “The cemetery of the former Jewish community with the area of 1.12 hectares […] was completely devastated and plowed by the occupant during the occupation. Currently, it is partly used for agricultural purposes, and partially as a meadow.”

In the early 1970s, a transformer station was built in the northern part of the cemetery. As a result of the destruction, the boundaries of the cemetery are invisible, and inside the cemetery there are only single destroyed sandstone tombstones. There is no form of commemoration of any kind.

The owner of the area is the Stopnica Municipality. The cemetery is listed in the Provincial Register of Monuments (No. E-1987-04-30) and the Municipal Register of Monuments (No. G-2017-11-29).