Szczercow Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Łódzkie Voivodeship
District
Bełchatów
Settlement
Kozłówki
Site address
Adjacent to 19, Kozłówki Street.
GPS coordinates
51.319247, 19.101694
Perimeter length
The exact perimeter is unknown.
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is located in the forest. Marked with an information board. The exact boundaries are unknown. There are a few tombstones preserved at the site.
Number of existing gravestones
45 broken tombstones were located.
Date of oldest tombstone
1906
Date of newest tombstone
1930
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Other
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
No

Historical overview

Szczerców was formerly a town. It was granted town privileges before 1364, and its foundation status was downgraded in 1870. At the end of the 16th century, it was the royal town of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland. The first records of Jewish settlement date to 1790. 16 Jews lived in the town in 1794, and 88 in 1808, then constituting 17% of the total population. A synagogue was built in the first half of the 19th century. In the second half of the 19th century, an independent community (kehilla) was established (initially the Jews of Szczerców belonged to the kehilla in Łask). In 1897, 962 Jews lived in the town (35% of the total population). At the beginning of World War II, a large part of the Jewish inhabitants ran away to Zelów or Bełchatów. The Jews who remained in the town were deported to Bełchatów in 1942.

The Jewish cemetery (the so-called Jung Mountain) is located on the western side of the road to Radomsko and Częstochowa, about 2 km from the town centre, about 50 metres from the Kozłówka football field. The cemetery’s exact establishment date is unknown, though it was most probably established in the first half of the 19th century. The cemetery was seriously damaged during World War II. After 1945, the local authorities established a sand mine there. In the cemetery’s area of about 0.1 hectares, a dozen or so matzevot—including some fragments—are preserved in various conditions, all of which are overturned or have been moved (in relation to the original burial place). The cemetery is still subject to further acts of degradation. Ongoing vandalism—including the destruction of the remaining matzevot, and the presence of illegal sand pits—take place there. Owing to the poor condition of the cemetery and its location in a sandy area, from time to time, human bones appear above-ground, in addition to fragments of tombstones. There is a sign on the site marking it as the area of the Jewish cemetery.