Zarki New Jewish Cemetery
The new Jewish cemetery in Żarki was established in 1821 at today’s ul. Polna Street. The cemetery area was enlarged several times.
During the liquidation of the ghetto in Żarki on October 6, 1942, the Nazis shot about 300 Jews at the cemetery.
It is now one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the region. About 1,100 tombstones have survived on the area of 1.5 ha, the oldest of which dates back to 1835. The matzevot were made of sandstone, limestone, granite and concrete. They have the traditional shape of steles-matzevot, next to which tomb and framed tombs have been preserved.
In the years 1983-1985, cleaning works were carried out in the cemetery.A lapidarium was built at the south-eastern end of the necropolis. The works were financed by a former resident of Żarek, Eli Zborowski, president of the American and International Societies for Yad Vashem.
In 2005, thanks to the efforts of the inhabitants of Żarki, the city council, Ela Zborowski and students of the Department of Jewish Studies at the Jagiellonian University, an inventory of the necropolises was made.
In August 2014, work on the assembly of unique cast-iron matzevot in the Jewish cemetery was completed. Wojciech Mszyca, the enthusiast of the history of Żarek, and the Żarki Commune under the patronage of the Mayor of Żarki and the Commune of Żarki, Klemens Podlejski, were involved in the work. Matzevot were found by accident in 2013 in the area of the Leśniów Sanctuary in Żarki during earthworks. They were taken to the Cultural Centre (a former synagogue) in Żarki.
The Rabbinical Commission in Warsaw, which was notified of the find, decided that the best solution would be to return the matzevot to the Jewish cemetery. In Poland – and in Europe – there are only five or six places where cast iron matzevot have been preserved – in the case of Żarki from 1880, 1886 and 1894. In Żarki it was known that some cast iron matzevot were in the Jewish cemetery in Żary, but during the occupation the Germans ordered their collection, put them under the gendarmerie, and then they were taken away – most likely for re-melting. Register of monuments no. 416/78 of February 25, 1987.