Wyszkow Jewish Cemetery
Wyszków was granted town rights in 1502. It was owned by the Płock bishops, and for a long time, Jews were forbidden to live in the town. In the 1781 census, 97 Jews were recorded as living in the district of the parish. Most of them lived in the villages and worked in leasing and renting. The Jews of Wyszków were subject to the kehilla in Węgrów for a long time. After the Third Partition of Poland (1795), following the border changes, they were then subject to the kehillas in Ostrów Mazowiecki, Nasielsk, and Maków Mazowiecki.
In 1808, only 8 Jews were recorded as living in the town, but by 1820, there were 229 Jews living among 769 inhabitants (30% of the total population). At that time, the Jewish community of Wyszków attempted to gain autonomy, which they eventually did in 1858 when there were 1,607 Jews living among the town’s 1,590 total inhabitants (67% of the population). Meanwhile, the Jews of Wyszków—without the permission of the authorities—established and built Jewish community facilities that were necessary for the functioning of the community, including a cemetery. In 1939, among approximately 12,000 inhabitants, 5,000 were Jewish (42%).
Until the establishment of the cemetery in the 1820’s, the Jews of Wyszków and its vicinity were buried in the cemeteries of whichever Jewish community they were subject to at the time. The cemetery was eventually established 1.5 km north-east of the city centre, among fields. It was shaped liked an irregular polygon (like a triangle) with an area of about 4 hectares (ha). In the interwar period, it was enclosed with a brick wall, and it was not covered with trees.
There was a caretaker’s house next to the cemetery. During World War II, the cemetery was totally devastated. The fence was torn down and the tombstones were taken away for construction purposes. After the Soviet occupation in 1944, the area was plowed, then used as a pasture, farmland, sand mine, and partially built over with residential houses. From the 1990’s, matzevot found in the city were gathered and, in 1997, were placed in the lapidary monument in the recovered area of the cemetery (1.5 ha). The wall-shaped lapidarium contains over 120 matzevot and fragments of matzevot (the oldest of which dates to the 1860’s). They are traditional stelae made of sandstone, granite, and marble.