Tarnogrod Jewish Cemetery
The town of Tarnogród was founded in 1567 under Magdeburg Law and was privately owned. There were two Jewish households in the town in 1569. At that time the town’s owner, swayed by the Christian residents, forbade Jews from settling within city limits. The ban was lifted in 1580. Soon after, kehilla facilities were established (synagogue, beit midrash, public baths, Rabbi’s house, etc.) and located approximately 150 m southeast from the town square.
In the 1850’s, among the town’s 3800 residents 1.668 were Jewish (44% of the population); in 1906, among 7,287 residents 3,733 were Jewish (51%); and, in 1939, of 5,874 residents 2,600 were Jewish (44%). During World War II, the Germans destroyed the kehilla facilities (only the synagogue survived). In 1942, during the liquidation of the ghetto, Nazis shot approximately 1,500 Jews by the road to Biszcza, behind the Catholic cemetery (currently Nadstawna Street), approximately 3,000 Jews on a rise by the current Kościuszki Street, and at the Jewish cemetery. The remaining Jewish residents were transported to the death camp in Bełżyce.
The cemetery was founded in 1580 (possibly in 1588) and is located approximately 500 m east of the town square, beyond the city limits, by Przedmieście Różanieckie. Data from 1820 indicates that its total acreage was 1.79 hectares (ha). During the interwar period it was enclosed with a wooden fence. There was also a mortuary, and three ohels (two made of wood and one made of stone). In 1941 the Germans completely destroyed the cemetery and used the tombstones to pave roads. In 1942 the cemetery became the site of executions and the victims were buried in unmarked mass graves.
After the war, the cemetery was used for various purposes, and the southeast part was divided into house plots. The current cemetery covers a trapezoid-shaped plot of land measuring 1.56 ha. Between 1985 and 1990, funded by the Schorer and Scheiber families from the United States, the area was cleaned, and enclosed partly with a metal fence and partly with a stone wall. Matzevot recovered from the city were made into a lapidary, and several were returned to their original location. Memorials were erected dedicated to the people who were killed in the cemetery and in the two additional locations outside of it where mass executions took place. There are currently approximately 300, mostly fragmented, matzevot in the cemetery, the oldest of which dates to the mid-18th century. The area is wooded.