Wieruszow Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Łódzkie Voivodeship
District
Wieruszów
Settlement
Wierszuszów
Site address
Opposite 68, Leśna Street.
GPS coordinates
51.2995364, 18.1754637
Perimeter length
532 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
Only a small fragment with a mass grave is fenced by metal mesh fence about 1.5m high. The fence is damaged in many places.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is extremely overgrown. Only a small part of the cemetery where the mass grave is located is cleared of bushes. Apart from the mass grave, there are also fragments of matzevot. The rest of the cemetery is inaccessible due to the dense vegetation.
Number of existing gravestones
7 fragments of matzevot were located near the mass grave.
Date of oldest tombstone
N/A
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
High
Land ownership
Other
Preserved construction on site
In the southern part of the cemetery, there is a mass grave of 86 Jews shot by the Germans during the liquidation of the ghetto on April 21, 1942. There is a memorial monument to the victims.
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

Wieruszów was a privately-owned town established in 1368. First mentions of a Jewish settlement in Wieruszów date back to the early 17th century. An autonomous kehilla was created in 1810, and a synagogue was built in 1850. In 1897, there were 1587 Jewish residents, comprising 36% of the total population. Before World War I, there was an active Jewish girls’ school and a Jewish kindergarten since 1917. Before the onset of World War II, there were around 2,400 Jewish residents. In the first days of the war, on September 2nd 1939, Germans massacred 21 Jews accused of defending the bridge on the Prosna River. On October 13th, 1941 a ghetto was established bordered by the Nadrzeczna, Kilińskiego and Zamkowa Streets. It was liquidated on August 26th 1942 and most of its residents were transported to the death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Individuals incapable of travels, 86 elderly and sick people, were killed on the night of August 26-27 in the Wieruszów mikveh.

The exact date of the cemetery’s founding is not known. Various sources cite the 17th and 18th centuries. The last burial took place before 1945.

The cemetery is located in the northeast part of the town to the right of Żydowska Street in the direction of Galerice, approximately 2 km from the town’s center.

During the Second World War, the cemetery was destroyed by the Germans and tombstones were used to pave sidewalks and the courtyard of the Gestapo headquarters at 57 Warszawska Street. After the war, several tombstones from the 19th and 20th century were found in the area; they were then placed back in the cemetery.

Currently there are around 100 tombstones in the cemetery, preserved to various degrees, with the oldest dating back to the first half of the 19th century. There are decorations and inscriptions in Hebrew on the matzevot. Parts of a stone wall has also survived. The cemetery additionally has a mass burial place of the 107 Jews including 21 from Podzamcze, shot to death at the beginning of the war, as well as the 86 victims of the massacre in the mikveh during the liquidation of the ghetto. A memorial plaque is placed at the site, funded by Abram Majerowicz. The cemetery is wooded, with an acreage of approximately 1,6 ha.