Warka Jewish Cemetery
Jewish settlement in Warka began to significantly develop at the end of the 18th century. In the next century, a Hasidic dynasty was established in the town (Vurka Hasidim). In 1921, 2,176 Jews lived in the town. In February 1941, the Germans deported Warka’s Jews to Warsaw, most of whom were later killed in 1942-1943. The cemetery is located about 850 metres southwest of the market square, on a hill above the Pilica River, west of Baczyńskiego Street. It covers an approximate area of about 1.5 hectares, within the area of plots no. 182/1, 184, 185, 186, 187. There is no information about its date of establishment. According to unconfirmed sources, the cemetery was established at the turn of the 19th century. It must have existed prior 1848 when Rebbe Izrael Icchak Kalisz (the first Rebbe of Vurka) was buried there. At the end of 1850, efforts were made to fence the cemetery and enlarge the area. In the related correspondence, the existing cemetery was called the “old” cemetery. The area of the cemetery was enlarged several times. The last land purchase probably took place in 1917. the cemetery was likely in active use until the deportation of Jews from Warka in February 1941.
Presumably, the cemetery became devastated during that time, and continued to degrade through the following decades. All tombstones were removed from the cemetery and the fence was torn down. Part of the plot is built over with single-family houses. The cemetery was also used as a pasture and as a recreation area. Around 1990, at the initiative of the Hasidic community, an ohel made of red bricks was erected over the alleged burial place of Rebbe Izrael Icchak Kalisz. Moreover, metal stairs were built on the side where the cemetery borders the Pilica River. Currently, the boundaries of the cemetery are imperceptible. The area is unfenced and covered with wild vegetation. There are some extensive excavations in the centre of the cemetery. Periodically, bones slide down the hillside. Some continual problems in the cemetery include littering, and vulgar and anti-Semitic slogans painted on the ohel. There is no information on the ownership status of the cemetery. The cemetery is listed in the provincial Register of Monuments, and it is not listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Mazowieckie Province.