Tykocin Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Podlaskie Voivodeship
District
Białystok
Settlement
Tykocin
Site address
Adjacent to 2, 27 Maja Street. The cemetery is located in a field between 27 Maja and Holendry streets.
GPS coordinates
53.2049787, 22.758522
Perimeter length
696 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery is partially fenced. A pre-war concrete wall about 1.7m high is preserved on the northern and on some parts of the eastern sides. A metal wire mesh fence belonging to the adjacent household delineates the western border of the cemetery. The eastern border has a small section of concrete wall on the north-eastern corner and an old wire mesh fence, that needs repair, some elements of the mesh fence are broken. The southern side of the cemetery is unfenced.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The preserved Jewish cemetery is located on the western outskirts of Tykocin. The cemetery is adjacent to private residential land and agricultural fields. The cemetery area is mostly a meadow with wooded areas near the western border. The cemetery is well-kept, it had been recently cleared of bushes when the survey team attended. The tombstones have been preserved.
Number of existing gravestones
There are 110 well-preserved matzevot: intacts, fragments and foundations. Some of them have been overturned.
Date of oldest tombstone
1754 (by sztetl.org.pl), 1811 (by ESJF)
Date of newest tombstone
1886, maybe 1933 (by ESJF)
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Other
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

Jews lived in Tykocin from the beginning of the 16th century and was one of the most important religious communities in the First Polish Republic. In 1921, 1,461 Jews lived in the town (49% of the entire population), most of whom were shot by the Germans on August 25 and 26, 1941 in nearby Łopuchów. The cemetery is located nearby the town, about 500 metres west of the former synagogue, between Holendry Street and 27 Maja Street. The cemetery is located within the irregularly shaped geodetic plot no. 1398 with an area of about 2.5 hectares. The cemetery was established after the privilege was granted by Olbracht Gasztołd in 1522. During World War II, the Germans executed Jews and Poles at the cemetery. On September 10, 1943, Władysława Krysiewicz was shot dead because she was helping Jews. The destruction of the cemetery began around that time when, by order of the German authorities, some tombstones were used to pave roads. Some Poles who used the matzevot (tombstones) for various purposes on their farms participated in the destruction process and continued to do so after the war. The cemetery was subsequently used for cattle grazing. In the period of the Polish People’s Republic, the land was used for a marketplace. A power line runs across the eastern edge. As a result of the destruction, only about 100 tombstones have survived in the cemetery, most of which are from the 19th century. The oldest identified matzevah is dated to 1754. These are mainly tombstones made of granite erratic boulders. A concrete wall has survived on the north and east sides. More than a dozen matzevot are stored in the local museum. Periodically, the cemetery is cleaned up by various organizations. The owner of the cemetery is the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage. The facility is listed in the Municipal Register of Monuments and the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Podlaskie Voivodeship.

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