Wielun Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Łódzkie Voivodeship
District
Wieluń
Settlement
Wieluń
Site address
34, Kijak Street.
GPS coordinates
51.21254, 18.55329
Perimeter length
493 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
Partially, there’s a metal mesh fence about 1.6m high along Graniczna Street.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery area is extremely overgrown and forested. Historical traces of the cemetery have not been preserved, there is one tombstones and fragments at the site — it is possible that there are more matzevah in the overgrown area, covered with soil and bushes. There is a memorial plaque on Kijak Street.
Number of existing gravestones
3. In the overgrown area of the cemetery, there is one matzevah in situ and two fragments.
Date of oldest tombstone
1899
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
The site was a place of mass execution as it’s written on the plaque at the cemetery, and there’s a memorial monument of the holocaust victims.
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

Wieluń was granted town rights in 1283. The first records of Jewish presence in the town date back to 1537. However, because of the De Non Tolerandis Judaeis privilege, the Jewish population settled in nearby villages. The Jewish settlement in Wieluń developed later during the partitions. In the 1890s, the Jewish community numbered 2,502 people, which constituted 37.8% of the total population. After World War I, Jews had many important positions in the community of Wieluń. In 1921, they constituted 43.7% of the total population (4,818 people), in 1938 – 33.4% (5,247 people). During World War II, the Germans established a Judenrat in the city. In the spring of 1941, a ghetto was established, and it was liquidated in August 1942. At that time, almost all Jews, 10,000 people, were transported to the death camp in Chełmno nad Nerem, and 922 people who were able to work were transferred to the ghetto in Łódź. About 80 Jews returned to the town after the war, but when seven of them were killed, the rest left Wieluń.

The cemetery is located on the outskirts of the town, at 34 Kijak Street. It covers a plot of 1.3 ha. The exact date of the establishment of the cemetery is unknown, yet it was probably established around 1850. There was a funeral house and a caretaker’s house in the cemetery. During World War II, the Germans carried out numerous executions of people of Jewish origin at the cemetery. It is estimated that the Germans killed several hundred Jews there. The bodies of people who died or were murdered in the Wieluń ghetto were also buried at the necropolis, including the bodies of ten Jews killed in the winter of 1942 in a public execution on the square between Różana Street and Palestrancka Street. The last recorded burial took place in 1942. During the war, the cemetery was severely devastated, and the matzevot were used to build roads and a swimming pool. No tombstone has survived. After the war, the area was planted with trees. In the 1980s, cleaning operations were carried out at the cemetery. There is an obelisk with a plaque commemorating the Jews murdered by the Germans during World War II. An informational board on the road also details the existence of the Jewish cemetery.