Heritage & Heritage Sites


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GENERAL (NATIONAL)

 

Virtual Shtetl portal

A one-stop shop for information on thousands of Jewish heritage sites around Poland and parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. A vast and expanding online database and also a frequently updated news source on Jewish heritage, history and culture in towns and cities all over Poland. A project associated with the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

FODZ — Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland

Established by the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland and the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) to protect and commemorate the surviving monuments of Jewish cultural heritage in Poland. The Foundation is active in regions where there are no nearby active Jewish communities, an area covering nearly two thirds of Poland. Among its project is the Chassidic Route — a loosely linked network of more than 20 Jewish heritage sites in southeastern Poland, for which FODZ has prepared information including downloadable brochures (from the Downloads Panel).

POLIN — Polish Jewish Heritage Web Portal

FODZ’s interactive portal and database to information on Jewish heritage and history in more than 600 localities around Poland.

Foundation for the Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland — Database of Jewish Cemeteries in Warsaw and the Mazovia Region of Poland

Database including transcriptions of inscriptions and photographs of gravestones in dozens of Jewish cemeteries around the country. Founded by the Warsaw Jewish Community.

Legislation Regarding Cemeteries, including Jewish Cemeteries, in Poland

A report by the Lo-Tishkach NGO, first published in 2007 and updated in 2017

U.S. Commission Survey of Jewish Heritage Sites in Poland

Downloadable PDF file of the first fullscale post-Holocaust survey of Jewish heritage sites in Poland, carried out in the 1990s.

International Jewish Cemetery Project Page for Poland

Listings for cemeteries all over the country, with location data and other information.

Kirkuty

Comprehensive web site on Jewish cemeteries in Poland, with lots of pictures

 

Museum of Family History: Holocaust Memorials in Poland (The Cemetery Project)

 

Shabbat Goy

A web site in French about traces of Jewish heritage in Poland, featuring photographs and information on hundreds of Jewish cemeteries, synagogues and other sites.

 

Matzevah.org

A Baptist Christian foundation that sponsors restoration and clean up work in Jewish cemeteries in Poland.

Obecnie Nieobecni (Presently Absent)

Web site of a nationwide photographic historical project concentrated on a symbolic value of presently non-existent Jewish cemeteries. It shows places that once were (visible) Jewish cemeteries.


Poland Jewish Cemetery Restoration Project
 

 Founded in 2001 with the restoration of the Ozarow cemetery

 

Guardians of Memory

Web site devoted to non-Jewish Poles who preserve, protect and care for Jewish culture and heritage in provincial towns and villages throughout Poland.

 

National Heritage Board of Poland

An interactive map of all landmarked heritage sites and monuments in Poland.

 

GENERAL (REGIONAL)

 

EAST AND NORTHEAST POLAND

 

 Bagnowka

Database, photographs and other material on Jewish cemeteries and other Jewish heritage sites in scores of towns, cities and villages, primarily in eastern Poland.

Białystok Polish-Israel Education Center

Information on history and Jewish heritage sites in eastern and northeastern Poland. There are lists and pictures of synagogue buildings and Jewish cemeteries and mass graves in dozens of towns and cities.

Jewish Cemeteries in the Podlasie region

Clickable descriptive list of dozens of Jewish cemeteries, some with pictures, put together by Dariusz Stankiewicz

 

Jewish East Prussia

Web site about Jewish history, life & heritage in East Prussia (now divided among Lithuania, Russia & Poland)

 

GALICIA (SOUTHEAST POLAND/WESTERN UKRAINE)

 

Chassidic Route

A loosely linked network of more than 20 Jewish heritage sites in southeastern Poland, for which FODZ has prepared information including downloadable brochures (from the Downloads Panel).

Galician Traces

Extensive photographic documentation by Charles Burns of Jewish heritage sites, mainly in parts of Poland, Romania and western Ukraine, with a focus on Jewish cemeteries, including many images of individual gravestones. Dozens of towns are included.

 In the Footsteps of the Jews of Tarnów

Downloadable guidebook by Adam Bartosz, published by the Regional Museum, including detailed information on Jewish history and sites in Tarnów and also information on Jewish heritage sites in a dozen other nearby towns.

 

SILESIA

 

Bits of the History of Jewish in Silesia

Downloadable book (published in 2014) that includes the history, and historic images, maps, etc, regarding synagogues, Jewish cemeteries, and other Jewish sites in several towns and cities: Jelenia Góra; Kamienna Góra; Jawor; Strzegom; Kowary; Kłodzko; Legnica; Świdnica

 

INDIVIDUAL SITES

 

There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Jewish heritage sites in Poland. You can find lists and information on most of them from the links cited above — in particular from the Virtual Shtetl portal. Some of the links above lead to searchable databases with extensive and often quite detailed information. Here we include locations that have their own web sites and other elaboration online.

 

BEDZIN

Cukerman Prayer House

A private prayer house found hidden in an upstairs apartment at Aleja Kollataja 24 — in a building that was part of a grand complex of tenement dwellings and businesses owned by Nuchim Cukerman. It was renovated and reopened to the public thanks to a grant from the province. The striking wall paintings that show scenes of Jerusalem, musical instruments and other motifs, were preserved and restored during a six-month restoration project overseen by the Brama Cukermana (Cukerman’s Gate) Foundation, a local NGO dedicated to preserving Bedzin’s Jewish heritage.

Mizrachi Synagogue

The so-called Mizrachi synagogue, believed to date from the mid-1920s, is located in a building at ul. Potocki 3 in the former Jewish quarter.  It was used by the members of the Mizrachi religious Zionist organization.The founder was probably the owner of the entire building, a man named Wiener, who was active in the movement. Restoration carried out by local authorities was completed in November 2011.

An article on Silesia Heritage web site about the synagogue and its restoration, with before and after pictures

Brama Cukermana (Cukerman’s Gate) Foundation

 

BIAŁYSTOK

Three surviving (though transformed) synagogues; one surviving Jewish cemetery (out of six pre-war cemeteries). Numerous former Jewish buildings; various memorials (including to the destroyed Great Synagogue).

Jewish Heritage Trail in Białystok

A project of the University of Białystok Foundation, the web site has information (in English and Polish) on Jewish heritage sites — most of them only marked with a plaque — in the city. There is also a downloadable PDF guidebook brochure, published in 2008

 

Jewish Cemeteries

“Bagnówka” Cemetery

Wschodnia street

Founded in about 1890, this is only only surviving Jewish cemetery in Białystok, out of six pre-war Jewish cemeteries. Located next to a Catholic cemetery and in Orthodox cemetery, it once  once extended over nearly 45 acres and was divided into 100 sections, with nearly 45,000 graves. Today, it covers about 30 acres and includes only about 2,100 matzevot.

All of the stones have been photographed, and the epitaphs have been translated. This information can be found online, but in the cemetery itself, signage has been erected next to some of the stones containing translations of the epitaphs and other information.

Bagnówka web site

Tomasz Wisniewski’s comprehensive web site about Jewish heritage and history in Bialystok and surrounding region. Photos, films, databases, etc

Documentation of the Cemetery on Bagnówka web site

Searchable database of photographs of all the grave markers, with translations of the epitaphs, on Tomasz Wisniewski’s Bagnowka web site.

“In the Bloodshed of Their Days”

Online article in Jewish Magazine about the cemetery, focusing on epitaphs, by  the scholar Heidi M. Szpek, who translated all the epitaphs (it is her translations that are found on the cemetery signage and the Bagnówka web site).

 

BOBOWA

Synagogue from 18th century, noted for exterior wooden gallery and elaborate

Ark in the Bobowa synagogue. Photo © Andrzej Otrębski (Wikimedia Commons)

painted stucco frame for the ark. Long used as a weavers’ workshop it was returned to Jewish ownership in 1993, restored and redicated in 2003. It is now used for religious purposes and pilgrimage visits by followers of the Bobower rebbes.  Jewish cemetery, high on a hill, where Bobower rebbes are buried.

 
Fascinating article by Adam Bartosz on taking part in a religious pilgrimage to Bobowa.
 
 
Our JHE post about frescoes discovered in the synagogue during restoration work in autumn 2013.

 

BYCHAWA

 

CHMIELNIK

This small town north of Krakow was 70-80 percent Jewish before World War II. Recent efforts spearheaded by local activist Piotr Krawczyk and town officials have renovated the long-abandoned synagogue into a Jewish museum (opening June 2013) and established memorials in the Jewish cemeteries.

The related Świętokrzyski Shtetl project is a web site on the Jewish history and heritage of Chmielnik and other towns in the Świętokrzysie voivodeship: Checiny, Kielce, Ozarow, Pinczow, Sandomierz and Szydlow

 

DZIERZONIÓW

Formerly the German town of Reichenbach.

Synagogue

Krasicki Street 28

Built in 1875, the box-shaped neo-Romanesque synagogue was used by the local Jewish community until the Germans 1937 closed it down and sold it in 1937. After World War II and until the 1980s, the synagogue again was used for religious purposes by a renewed Jewish community of thousands of  Holocaust survivors.  Many had been liberated from the concentrati­on camps, had survived the Holocaust in the Soviet Union, or had fought as partisans in Polish forests. Most of these people emigrated, and by the 1980s only a handful of Jews lived in the town; the synagogue was abandoned and became derelict.

It has been undergoing gradual restoration since 2004 by the Beitenu Chaj-2004 foundation. It is currently used for cultural purposes, but was opened for Rosh Hashana Services in 2009.

Beitenu Chaj-2004 web site

Downloadable PDF brochure on the synagogue and project

Dzierzoniów on Virtual Shtetl

 

JÓZEFÓW BIŁGORAJSKI

Synagogue dating from the second half of the 19th century and Jewish cemetery, both of which underwent renovation in 2015.

The Synagogue was used as a warehouse after 1945 and then after its roof collapsed,  became a total ruin. In 1985-1991, it was renovated and a library was located there. As part of the €200,000 renovation completed in 2015 and carried out under the supervision of a historic preservation officer, windows and doors were replaced, plaster was filled in, the inside walls were renovated, and PVC tiles were replaced by terracotta. The building was drained and secured against damp.  A small exhibition of photographs and Judaica was installed in the nich of the Ark.

The Jewish cemetery saw clean-up work and installation of new fencing and gates  organized by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ) and realized in cooperation with the ESJF Gemeinnützige Gesellschaft zur Erhaltung und zum Schutz Jüdischer Friedhöfe in Europa (European Jewish Cemetery Initiative).

 

KATOWICE

Video with old postcard views and 3-D computer reconstruction of the Great Synagogue, destroyed on Kristallnacht:

Virtual Shtetl Katowice page.

Jewish cemetery, founded in 1868, at ul. Kozielska 16.

Virtual Shtetl page on Katowice Jewish cemetery.

The video below shows a “walking tour” of the cemetery

 

KAZIMIERZ DOLNY

The synagogue in this beautiful town on the Vistula River, built in the second half of the 18th century, was long used as a cinema after World War II but was returned to Jewish communal ownership in 2002. Today it is used as a cultural and exhibition space, housing a exhibition on Jewish Kazimierz Dolny that includes pre-war photographs by Benedykt Jerzy Dorysa . The synagogue complex also includes a guest house, called Beiteinu, run by the Jewish community in Warsaw, the “Esterka” kosher cafe, and a Judaica shop. The synagogue web site has information about the history of the building and the Jewish community of the town.

ul. Lublin 4
24-120 Kazimierz Dolny
Tel: +48 (0) 81 881 08 94 Mobile: +48 692 578 677
Email: kaziemierz@jewish.org.pl

Both of the town’s Jewish cemeteries (Old Cemetery dating to 17th century and New Cemetery established in 1851) were destroyed by the Nazis. In the 1980s, a striking Holocaust Memorial in the form of a wall of recovered gravestone fragments split by a jagged crack was erected amid the remnants of the New Cemetery, on the road to Opole Lubelskie.

The Kazimierz Dolny Goldsmith Museum includes items of Judaica. Other branches of the town’s Nadwislanskie Museum also present material on local Jewish heritage, including photographs and fragments of gravestones.

 

 

KIELCE

Former synagogue (now state archive); Jewish cemetery; private prayer house (ul Slowacki 4) built in 1922; site of July 4, 1946 pogrom against Holocaust survivors that killed at least 42 Jews (ul Planty 7).

Jan Karski Society

25-502, 40 Paderewskiego,
Kielce, Poland
Tel: +48 (0) 41 343 28 40
Fax: +48 (0) 41 343 28 49
Email to Bogdan Białek, Chairman: bogdan.bialek@charaktery.com.pl

 

An NGO that, in addition to carrying out civil society activities, manages the Jewish cemetery in Kielce and is working to preserve a rare, surviving private prayer house and move it to the Jewish cemetery where it will anchor an educational/cultural/memorial center.

 

 

KNYSZYN

 The old Jewish cemetery with hundreds of gravestones, built  on the dams of royal ponds, was  founded in the 18th century; the oldest identifiable stone is from 1806. (There is a much smaller “new” Jewish cemetery founded in the late 1920s next to this.) Desecrated and abandoned after WW2, it recently has been restored by the town, with EU and Regional funding. Signage was erected, including a large sign at the site with a map and description of 30 particularly interesting gravestones, and a walking route through the cemetery was marked out. The town also provides a free downloadable brochure in English and Polish about the cemetery and local Jewish history. Near the cemetery is the mass grave of about 70 Jews killed by Germans soldiers on November 2, 1942.

Knyszyn on Virtual Shtetl

Click to download the Polish-English brochure about the cemetery & local Jewish history

Knyszyn town web site

Jewish cemetery on the IAJGS International Jewish Cemetery Project

 

KORCZYNA

 

The Jewish cemetery in this small town in southern Poland has been restored as a project of the Dartmouth University Hillel. Students have photographed all the several hundred 19th-20th century gravestones and transcribed and translated into English the epitaphs. Virtual Shtetl and Kirkuty have photographs of the cemetery before the restoration work as well a details on the history of the town.

Jewish Cemetery Preservation Project

JewishGen’s KehilaLinks Korczyna page

 

KRAKOW

 

Krakow’s old Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, is the largest, most intact, and best-preserved Jewish quarter in Europe. There are synagogues, prayer houses, two Jewish cemeteries, homes, streets, markets squares and other infrastructure. (See a list of all synagogues and prayer houses (betei midrash) in Krakow in 1918-1939).

Since the early 1990s, the area has developed (and been developed) into one of Europe’s main Jewish tourist attractions.

Jewish Krakow: A Visual and Virtual Tour

The web site lists places to see and locates them on a map; it also lists accommodation, restaurants and cafes in and around the Jewish quarter, Kazimierz. Lots of information.

Tempel Synagogue

Originally built in 1862, this reform synagogue was restored in the 1990s and still serves as a house of worship, as well as a setting for concerts and other events.

Brochure about the Tempel Synagogue restoration

 

Kupa Synagogue

Dating from the 1640s and remodeled over the centuries. It was devastated by the Nazis and used for decades after World War II as a workshop. Fullscale renovation was completed in 2002. The synagogue is richly decorated with ceiling and wall paintings dating from the 1920s-30s, showing of biblical scenes and signs of the Zodiac, as well as other decorative elements.

Read Samuel Gruber’s article on the decoration of the Kupa

 

 

LESZNO

The Art Gallery of the District Museum in Leszno is housed in the town’s former synagogue, at 31 ul Narutowicza (Tel. +48 (0) 65 529 61 43.) The building was constructed between 1796 and 1799. Severely damaged in World War II, it was restored as the museum in the 1990s and is listed as a cultural monument.

The Museum also displays an extensive permanent exhibition of Judaica there. See: Leszno Judaica Collection (a pdf file on the collection)Until 2004, this collection was housed in the former Pre-Burial House on the site of the largely ruined Jewish Cemetery. This building now serves as a branch of the town library. (al. Jana Pawła II 14, 64-100 Leszno. Tel: +48 (0) 65 520 5355;  Fax: +48 (0) 65 529 6665; Email: sekretariat@mbpleszno.pl) The cemetery was destroyed by the Nazis, but about 400 fragments of gravestones have been collected, and some are displayed in the building.

There are several other Jewish buildings in the town.

 

LUBACZÓW

Jewish Cemetery

Extensive blog/web site on the Jewish cemetery in Lubaczów by Eva Floersheim, with detailed information, photographs of the gravestones (also highlighting problems such as erosion), names of those buried and position of graves, etc.

 

LUBLIN

 

Lublin was a key center of Jewish life and learning for centuries, but few physical traces remain. There are many plaques, however, and other resources.

See a comprehensive guide to Jewish sites in Lublin here.

Foundation for the Protection of Lublin Jewish Cemeteries

Web site of the Grodzka Gate NN Theatre Center

NGO devoted to researching and promoting Jewish culture, history and heritage.

 

JEWISH SITES

Building of the former Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin.

Founded by Rabbi Yehuda Meir Shapiro in 1930; closed down in 1939. Used by the medical school of the university after World War II; returned to Jewish communal ownership in 2004. Restored by the Warsaw Jewish community and now the headquarters of the local Jewish community (with a synagogue, now restored, incorporated) but also the 4-star Hotel Ilan, opened in August 2013.

Photo documentation of the opening of the Yeshiva in 1930

The photos are from a set of some 2700 glass negatives of pre WW2 photographs of Jewish life in Lublin that were found in a house on Lublin’s main square (Rynek) and given to the Grodzka Gate Theatre NN in 2012.

JHE post about the opening of the hotel

 

Jewish cemeteries

The Old Jewish Cemetery, founded in the first half of the 16th century and in use until the 19th century, is believed to be the oldest Jewish cemetery still existing in Poland.The Nazis tore it up and used its stones for paving, but valuable historic gravestones remain. The oldest, that of the scholar Jakob Kopelman ha Levi, who died in 1541, is believed to be the oldest Jewish gravestone in Poland in situ.

See online index of all gravestones in the Old Jewish Cemetery

New Cemetery  (ul. Walecznych);  founded in 1829. Devastated during World War II , it underwent extensive renovation in the 1980s-1990s and is still used by the current community. There are many memorials to Holocaust victims and a modernistic mausoleum housing a memorial center and the symbolic tomb of Rabbi Yehuda Meir Shapiro (d. 1933) who founded the Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin.

See online index of all gravestones in the New Jewish Cemetery

 

ŁAŃCUT

Baroque synagogue from the 18th century with central bimah and exquisite, colorful interior decoration; Jewish cemetery founded in the 17th century — the site of pilgrimages to the tombs of Tzadiks Naftali Tzvi Horowitz of Ropczyce (1760-1827)  and Eleazar Shapiro of Łańcut (d. 1865).

 

Downloadable PDF detailed brochure on Łańcut Jewish heritage from the FODZ Chassidic Route

 

ŁȨCZNA

The 17th century Great Synagogue for years housed a Regional Museum (and maintained synagogue fittings and decoration). Returned to Jewish communal ownership; a new Jewish museum is planned there. Fragments from the destroyed Jewish cemetery are displayed outside. Smaller synagogue nearby now the town library.

Łȩczna Town web site

 

ŁÓDŹ

Poland’s second largest city, with many traces of Jewish heritage and culture. Jewish cemetery, mansions, factories, World War II Ghetto, active Jewish community and synagogue. The Foundation for Łódź Jewish Heritage lists and describes many sites and in particular works to preserve the Jewish cemetery.

Synagogues of Łódź (in Polish) —

Web site about present and destroyed synagogues and prayer houses in the city.

Digital video reconstructions of destroyed synagogues in Łódź 

The Center for Dialogue posts digital video reconstructions of four destroyed synagogues in the city: those that stood at 20 Wolborska Street; 2 Spacerowa Street (Kościuszki Av); 56 Zachodnia Street and 6 Wólczańska Street. The videos can be accessed on YouTube. The reconstructions were also  published in print as  Łódź Synagogues- Virtual Heritage of a Lost District, by Krzysztof Stefański and Rafał Szrajber. The book includes archival illustrations and computer drawings illustrating the  reconstruction process.

Computer video reconstruction of interior of destroyed Great Synagogue in  Łódź

The reconstruction was based on only two existing photographs of the interior and the models developed by the project: “Łódź synagogues — virtual heritage of a lost district” by K.Stefański and Rafal Szrajber. The use of video game engine allows exploration of  an interior that no longer exists.

Jewish Cemetery

One of the biggest Jewish cemeteries in Poland, with massive tombs (including that of I.K. Poznanski) as well as simple gravestones.

Lodz Jewish Cemetery web site

Includes photos, links, and a searchable map of the cemetery with lists of names.

Manufaktura – Museum of the Factory

The red-brick textile factory once run by I.K. Poznanski, the wealthiest Jewish industrialist in Łódź, has been converted into a sprawling shopping center, Manufaktura, which also includes a Museum of the Factory.

Poznanski Palace

Manufaktura stands next to I.K. Poznanski’s huge mansion, which now serves as the Łódź City Museum.

World War II Łódź Ghetto

Detailed web site with history, map and description of buildings.

 

ŁOMŻA

Two Jewish cemeteries.

Lomza Virtual Jewish Cemeteries

Photographs and other information on the two Jewish cemeteries in Lomza. Includes a map of the old Jewish cemetery.

Lomza Jewish Cemetery Foundation

A U.S.-based NGO dedicated to preserving Lomza’s Jewish cemeteries. The web site has pictures and other information, including a list of names of people buried in the New Jewish Cemetery.

 

ORLA

Town in northeastern Poland with a synagogue originally built in the 17th century. Severely damaged during World War II, it has been partially reconstructed; some of the vivid pre-WW2 polychromie painted interior decoration is intact. The building has a distinctive facade, with a pillar-flanked portal.

Orla Kehila Links pages, with material and pictures about the synagogue

 The video below on the Orla synagogue is by Tomasz Wisniewski

 

 

 

OSWIECIM

 

The town where the Auschwitz death camp was built had a majority Jewish population before World War II. One synagogue remains; long used as a carpet warehouse, it was restored and opened in 2000 to house the Auschwitz Jewish Center educational and prayer center, which plays a leading role in fostering knowledge of the town’s Jewish heritage. The site of the destroyed Great Synagogue is marked. There is a Jewish cemetery that was devastated in WW2 but restored in recent decades.

 

Auschwitz Jewish Center

Pl. Ks. Jana Skarbka 5
32-600 Oswiecim
Tel: +48 (0) 33 844 7002
Fax: +48 (0) 33 844 7003
Email: info@ajcf.pl

 

Prayer, research and educational center, with a museum on pre-war Jewish history of Oswiecim. Opened in 2000, it is located in a complex including the town’s only surviving synagogue, which has been restored. The new core exhibition of the Center is called “Oshpitzin: The Story of Jewish Oświęcim.” Opened in May 2014, it tells the story of pre-war Jewish Oświęcim, the Holocaust, and Jewish life in Oświęcim today through unique objects, testimonies, documents, photographs, artifacts from the destroyed Great Synagogue, and immersive new technologies. Jews lived in Oświęcim in a diverse and vibrant community for 400 years before the Holocaust. In 1939, there were roughly 8,000 Jewish residents in a town of 14,000 people. Nearly the entire Jewish population of Oświęcim was murdered in the Holocaust, and all but one synagogue – of nearly thirty that existed – disappeared. The exhibition’s accompanying Smartphone app can be found at app.oshpitzin.pl. It is available for download for both Apple and Android products.

 

Oshpitzin interactive map, site and guide

 

OŻARÓW

Jewish cemetery dating back to the 17th century and used until 1942, located on ul. Morska, across from a Catholic cemetery. Most gravestones have been damaged or destroyed but those that remain feature fine carving, with some bearing traces of color. The cemetery was fenced off and cleaned in the early 2000s by descendants of local Jews, as a project of the Poland Jewish Cemetery Restoration Project. The former synagogue dates originally to the 18th century. It was extensively rebuilt after World War I, used by the Nazis as a storage house during World War II and in the communist period turned into a cinema. Now it serves as a plumbing supply store.

Facebook page for the Jewish cemetery and synagogue (with pictures)

Ożarów Jewish cemetery project

 

PIOTRKÓW TRYBUNALSKI

Two Synagogues (next to each other on Jerozolimska street). Both have been used as public libraries since the mid-1960s.

The Great Synagogue was built between 1791 and 1793. The Small Synagogue next to it was founded by the Hern Piotrkower Foundation and built in 1781. It is used as a children’s library and retains a polychorme mural on one wall amid the shelves.

Jewish Cemetery

Founded in 1791; the oldest gravestone dates from 1794. Many stones have vivid carving, and there are inscriptions in Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Polish and Russian. There are the ohels of several rabbis, and also a Holocaust memorial. All of the stones have been documented and photographed and put into a searchable database.

Online searchable database of gravestones in Piotrków Trybunalski Jewish cemetery

Virtual Shtetl pages on Piotrków Trybunalski

 

PRZEMYŚL

Early 20th century Scheinbach Synagogue (til recently the public library); Zasanska synagogue (Unii Brzeskiej 6; built in the 1890s; currently abandoned); Jewish cemetery.

Scheinbach Synagogue

Slowackiego 13

Designed by Polish architect Stanisław Majerski and built between 1910 and 1918 in Moorish-Eclecltic style, with arched windows and lavish interior decoration including wall paintings and stained glass. One of two surviving synagogue buildings (out of four main synagogues pre-WW2). Used by the Nazis as a stable. After WW2 it was used as a textile warehouse and then in the late 1960s converted for used as the public library. It was restituted to Jewish ownership in 2006, after which it was rented by the Library until the Library moved out to new premises. There are current plans to turn it into a cultural center.

History of the Scheinbach synagogue, from Library web site

Virtual Shtetl Przemyśl pages

The Jewish Przemyśl Blog

Web site/blog by descendants of Jews from Przemyśl. One focus is the preservation, mapping and maintenance of the Jewish cemetery in Przemyśl, through a partnership with the U.S-based  Remembrance and Reconciliation Foundation.

 

PRZYSUCHA

The long-abandoned synagogue in this small town (which before World War II was more than 60 percent Jewish) is a massive limestone building constructed between 1774 and 1777, a time when the town (called Psischa or Parshischa in Yiddish) was a major center of Hasidism. Pilgrims still come to Pszysucha to visit the tombs of revered Hasidic rabbis in the Jewish cemetery on ul. Cmentarna: Abraham of Przysucha (d. 1806), Jacob Yitzhak ben Asher (1766-1813), known as the Holy Jew of Przysucha and credited with being the first propagator of Hasidism in Central Poland, and Jacob’s disciple Simcha Bunem (1784-1827).

Some of the synagogue’s interior features are still intact, including the Ark and the frame of the Bimah. FODZ, the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, took ownership of the synagogue in 2007 and has plans to restore it as a cultural center that will serve visiting Jewish groups as well as the town.

Virtual Tour of the Main Hall of the Synagogue

Architectural Drawings of the Synagogue

Photographic Documentation of the Synagogue

Downloadable FODZ brochure about the Synagogue and Restoration plans

 

RADOMSKO

Large Jewish cemetery, dating from the 19th century, at ul. Przedborska 196.

 

SEJNY

“White synagogue” built in 1885; former Yeshiva; former Jewish school. Remnant of Jewish cemetery (with memorial to the destroyed Jewish community).The NGO Borderland Foundation  uses the former Jewish sites as its premises. The Foundation carries out many projects to restore Jewish memory and culture as well as promote inter-ethnic understanding.

 

SOKOLOW PODLASKI

A web site and blog devoted to Jewish heritage and history in this town in east-central Poland, with photos and an interactive map of sites (both surviving sites and buildings as well as places with the destroyed synagogue, Jewish cemetery and other sites once stood).

 

SOSNOWIEC

 

“Jewish Traces of Sosnowiec”

An online guide to Jewish heritage in and around the town in southern Poland, hosted by the town’s official web site.

 

SZCZECZIN

 

Jewish Cemetery believed founded in 1816 or 1821; closed in 1962 (though there was an illegal burial in 1982)

Article about the Jewish cemetery in The Szczecinian

 

SZYDLOWIEC

Jewish cemetery with about 3,000 stones, many highly decorated. Established 1788, functioned until 1943. Earliest known stone from 1831. Synagogue was destroyed but a prayer house  remains. A sukkah dating from the 1920s and attached to a dwelling house was discovered in 2007 and in 2008 was disassembled, removed and turned over to the museum in nearby Radom for restoration.

Szydłowiecki Sztetl educational organization (also a partner in a documentation and restoration project for the Jewish cemetery)

Holocaust-era Photo Album from Szydlowiec

Yad Vashem has digitized a private photo album, possibly of a German policeman, that includes photos of gravestones in the Jewish cemetery, a synagogue, scenes from the Szydlowiec ghetto.

 

TARNÓW

Well-preserved and documented Jewish cemetery; old Jewish quarter; former Jewish bathhouse. All that remains of the great synagogue is the four-pillared Bimah, which stands as a monument and memorial.

Download the detailed Polish-English guidebook: “In the Footsteps of the Jewish of Tarnów,” by Adam Bartosz

Bartosz is a veteran researcher on Jewish heritage in Tarnow. The booklet, published by the Tarnów Regional Museum, provides a detailed history of the Jews in Tarnow as well as descriptions of many sites in the city. It also includes information on Jewish heritage sites in 12 other nearby towns.

Download the PDF guidebook, with map, to the Tarnów Jewish cemetery

Web site of the Committee for the Protection of Jewish Heritage in Tarnów

Founded in 1988 and affiliated with the Regional Museum, the Committee organizes and facilitates a number of cultural and educational activities and preservation projects in Tarnów and other nearby places. Click HERE to see its 2015 activity report.

 

WARSAW

Much of Warsaw was destroyed in World War II, including almost all sites of Jewish heritage. Today, main heritage sites include the Nozyk synagogue (the only intact synagogue still standing in Warsaw); one block of Prózna street; the Jewish cemeteries on Okopowa street and in the Praga district (Brodno cemetery); remains of a private prayer house in Praga; the Jewish Historical Institute, located in the former building of the Jewish Library. There is a memorial trail in the destroyed WW2 Warsaw Ghetto area and several monuments to the Holocaust, including the Ghetto Heroes Monument, across from the new POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which opened in 2014.

Information of the Jewish Tourist in Warsaw (Fact Sheet and Tourist Guide)

An information resource prepared by the Jewish community in Warsaw with tourist and logistical information, and information and contacts regarding synagogues and other Jewish institutions, Jewish heritage, sights, kosher food, etc.

Web site of the Jewish Cemetery at Okopowa St.

Okopowa St. Jewish Cemetery searchable database

Names, dates, description, location and photograph of each gravestone

Warsaw 1939 web site

Photographs, maps and resources on Warsaw before World War II, showing the architectural and social fabric of the city that was largely destroyed in the war.

 Warsaw Ghetto Database

A collection of facts from the history of the ghetto based on archival and bibliographical data. The Internet database  enables its users to easily find related information on specific subjects: people, events and places from the Warsaw ghetto.

 

WROCŁAW

White Stork Synagogue

Neoclassical synagogue, in a courtyard that is part of a Jewish communal complex. Built in 1827-29 and designed by Karl Ferdinand Langhans. Restored and rededicated in 2010, thanks largely to the efforts of the Bente Kahan Foundation. There is a permanent exhibition on Jewish history in the women’s gallery.

Jewish Cemeteries

Jewish Cemetery on ul. Lotnicza — still in use by Jewish community

Old Jewish Cemetery 

Museum of Cemetery Art
Ślężna 37/39
Tel: +48 (0) 71 79 59 04 or 79159 03

 

Founded in 1856, it has about 12,000 gravestones and covers 4.6 hectares. It was listed as a national historic landmark in 1975 and since 1991 has been administered at a Museum of Cemetery Art that is part of the city museum. This cemetery has many elaborate tombs and is the final resting place of luminaries such as the socialist politician Ferdinand Lassalle (1825 – 1864), and the parents of the Jewish intellectural Edith Stein (who converted to Catholicism, became a nun, was killed at Auschwitz, and was proclaimed a saint by Pope John Paul II).

Bente Kahan Foundation

 

WRONKI

Jewish Cemeteries

The two Jewish cemeteries were destroyed by the Nazis and their stones were  broken and used as paving. In 2011, about 500 fragments were recovered, and used to construct a memorial lapidarium in Wronki.

Photo documentation of the lapidarium project

 

ZAMOSC

Renaissance synagogue in the heart of Zamosc’s old town, used after World War II as a library. Restored as a project of the FODZ, which took ownership in 2005, it was rededicated and reopened in 2011 as the “Synagogue Center,” an information and culture center with an exhibition on Jewish history.

PDF Brochure about the Synagogue and its Revitalization

Organization of Zamosc Jewry

Group of descendants of Jewish from Zamosc and other towns in the vicinity, with photos, documents and other material, including on the synagogue

 

ŻARKI

Before WW2, Jews made up the majority of the population in this small town in central Poland. Much of the Jewish built heritage of the town was destroyed, but much still remains: synagogue (now used as a culture center), the new Jewish cemetery, typical houses and shops. The Silesian Voyvoidship Authority and the local municipality have financed a Jewish Culture Trail, available online in both English and Polish, that  takes in houses and shops, urban structure, the surviving synagogue, the surviving Jewish cemetery, the WW2 ghetto and provides historical details.

Jewish Culture Trail of Żarki