Zamosc Old Jewish Cemetery
Jews settled in Zamość in the 16th century. By the 17th century, there were both Sephardic and Ashkenazi communities in the city. Some notable people with connections to Zamość include Izrael Segal ben Mosze, a Talmudist, pioneer of the Haskalah, and astronomer; Icchak Lejb Perec, a writer; and Rosa Luxemburg, an activist of the workers’ movement. During World War II, there was a transit ghetto in Zamość. Almost all the people detained there were murdered in 1942 in Bełżec and Sobibór. After the end of the war, about 200 Jews returned to the city, and the Jewish Committee was established. However, most of the survivors left Zamość in the following months.
The cemetery is located about 900 metres south-east of the market square, at Partyzantów Street. The cemetery was likely established either at the end of the 16th century or at the beginning of the 17th century. The privilege to establish the cemetery was granted by Jan Zamoyski from 1588. The area of the cemetery was gradually expanded over time. At the end of the 18th century, it covered an area of 1.42 hectares (ha) and, by 1924, it covered an area of 2.80 ha. At the end of the 19th century, the cemetery was nearly full. At that time, municipal authorities attempted to close the cemetery, which eventually did happen in 1907. At the beginning of the 20th century, the cemetery covered a plot of land shaped like a trapezoid, and its shorter side adjoined Partyzantów Street. The cemetery was moreover surrounded by a high fence, had a wooden funeral house located in the southwest corner, and was covered with trees. During World War II, the cemetery was partially destroyed by the Germans. The soldiers of the Soviet Army, who were stationed at the cemetery in autumn 1945, caused further damage. It is also assumed that the cemetery was further destroyed by some residents of Zamość. In 1946, the city took over the cemetery plot and built a playground on the land. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the buildings of the District Telecommunication Office were erected on the cemetery, and, between 1961-1965, the District Centre of Culture was built there as well. The above-ground traces of the cemetery have vanished and there is no form of commemoration of any kind. The cemetery is owned by the State Treasury and administered by the City of Zamość.