Jewish Cemetery, Brzeg
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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The cemetery is the only - next to the synagogue (1799) in Długa Street, burned in 1938 and completely transformed into a multi-family house during WW2 - trace of the Jewish presence in Brzeg.

History

The cemetery in ks. Makarskiego Street is - most probably - not the first Jewish burial ground in Brzeg. A preserved tombstone dated 1 September 1348 proves the existence of the cemetery - and hence the community - already in the first half of the 14th century. Yet, today, we know neither its history nor the location (after the liquidation of the cemetery, the 1348 tombstone was used as a component of the judge's table installed in the marketplace and later was built in the façade of the house at 41 Rynek and then in the wall of the town hall).

Today’s cemetery was set up in 1798. The oldest surviving tombstone is that of Zanwla, son of Meir of Grodków, died 30 May 1806, but the first burials had already taken place in 1801. The cemetery had been used until 1937.

Description

The cemetery is located in the south-west outskirts of the town, near the Wrocław-Opole road. From the north-east, it borders on the plot of the Church of God's Mercy and the municipal cemetery. Its area is approx. 0.5 ha, but it used to be several times bigger. About 150 tombstones have survived until today, mainly from the second half of the 19th century. They are vertical steles and obelisks of sandstone and marble. Next to single matzevahs, there are also double ones. The oldest of the surviving tombstones bear Hebrew lettering. From the 2nd quarter of the 19th century, it begins to go with the German text on the reverse side. On many decorated matzevahs of Brzeg, the epitaphs reveal symbols characteristic of Judaism (blessing hands, pitcher) and popular vanitative motifs (broken tree, flower, candle, winged hourglass). A representation of the butterfly to be found on some tombstones is a real rarity.

The monument is available to visitors.

Compiled by Joanna Szot, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Opole, 01-11-2014 r.

Bibliography

  • Czerner R., Zabudowy rynków. Średniowieczne bloki śródrynkowe wybranych dużych miast Śląska, Wrocław 2002.
  • Gawlik S., Ludność żydowska w Brzegu od XIV w. do 1942 r., Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego 1986, nr 137, s. 19-33.
  • Wodziński M., Hebrajskie inskrypcje na Śląsku XIII-XVIII wieku, Wrocław 1996.

General information

  • Type: Jewish cemetery
  • Chronology: 1798 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: ks. K. Makarskiego , Brzeg
  • Location: Voivodeship opolskie, district brzeski, commune Brzeg
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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