Zawichost Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Country
Poland
Region
Świetokrzyskie Voivodeship
District
Sandomierz
Settlement
Zawichost
Site address
1, Okrężna Street.
GPS coordinates
50.806573, 21.846939
Perimeter length
405 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
no
Type and height of existing fence
Only a small, internal part of the cemetery has been fenced (marked in red on the map). The fence is metal on brick poles about 2m high.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
Only one matzevah has survived in the cemetery, which is now embedded in the monument to the Jews of Zawichost. The cemetery is fenced, but the fenced part only a covers a small section of the territory of the former cemetery.
Number of existing gravestones
1. The surviving matzevah was incorporated into the monument. The matzevah belongs to Yoel bar Yehuda, and it’s from 1900.
Date of oldest tombstone
1900
Date of newest tombstone
N/A
Urgency of erecting a fence
Low
Land ownership
Municipality
Preserved construction on site
No
Drone surveys
Yes

Historical overview

From 1820, the former town of Prosperów has been included in the present borders of Zawichost. The development of a Jewish community in Prosperów began in the 18th century. In 1921, 1,445 Jews lived in the town, which was 47.9% of the total population. The majority of them were killed by the Germans in Bełżec in October 1942.

The cemetery is located in the western part of the town, at Okrężna Street. The cemetery was likely established in the first half of the 19th century. In 1848, the facility was located “outside the town, in the fields”, and the cemetery fence consisted of a wall, a wooden fence, and an earthen embankment.

In October 1942, around 200 people murdered during the liquidation of the ghetto were buried at the cemetery. Later, likely in 1944, the bodies were dug up and burnt.

During World War II, the devastation of the cemetery began. At the order of the Germans, the tombstones were broken and used to gravel the road to Staszów.

On July 13th 1957, the Presidium of the Municipal National Council in Zawichost adopted a resolution on the liquidation of the cemetery, which was raised by the Presidium of the Provincial National Council in Kielce. The authorities of Zawichost adopted another resolution on January 30th 1963, planning to build up the cemetery with single-family houses. At that time “the area was fenced, bushes and trees were planted, the remains of bodies and monuments were secured”. The final decision on closure was issued by the Minister of Municipal Economy on June 26th 1964. The accompanying documentation states that the cemetery covered a plot of 2 hectares, and that the last burial took place in 1942. In the following years, four plots were separated from the cemetery. There are no above-ground traces of the cemetery visible.

In 1989, thanks to the initiative of Cheil Weinbaum, a part of the area was fenced. A monument commemorating the victims of the Holocaust was erected and the only remaining matzevah was attached to it.

The owner of the cemetery is the Zawichost Municipality. The cemetery is listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (entry No. A 940, 30/01/2019).

Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery
Zawichost Jewish Cemetery