Jewish Cemetery, Kielce
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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the cemetery along with a set of gravestones constitutes a valuable historical monument of Judaic culture and an integral element of the historical landscape of Kielce

History

The Jewish cemetery was created in 1870 in the Pakosz district as the only cemetery of non-prevailing denomination not included in the "Old" cemetery. The complex was built by a known architect from Kielce, Franciszek Ksawery Kowalski Earlier, sparse Jews of Kielce buried their deceased in a cemetery in nearby Chęciny. A dozen or so ohalim were present here. An ohel is a small building in which esteemed members of the Jewish community were buried, mainly tzadikim and rabbis. During the World War II, the cemetery was primarily used as the execution site of Jewish and Polish population, which heavily damaged the cemetery. In 1946, 42 Jewish victims of pogrom of the 4th July were buried. Later on, corpses of a few Jews murdered in the ghetto of Kielce, originally buried in a couple of spots in the city, were exhumed and transferred to the Jewish cemetery. The cemetery was closed for burials in 1967. In spring 1986, in the face of progressing decay, the Nissenbaum Family Foundation undertook to clean and renovate the cemetery. In that time, the monument of victims of so-called "Kielce pogrom" was renovated, and two more monuments for the Shoah victims were erected. The date of the commissioning ceremony for the restored cemetery coincided with the 45th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto of Kielce. A symbolic key was presented to the city. In 2007, one of the ohalim was recovered. It was renovated and fenced, gravestones were set up inside, and by the entrance, an information board was installed.

Description

The cemetery is located in the southern part of the city, at Pakosz Street and Na Stadion Avenue. Originally, this was an area outside the city. The area of the cemetery is approximately 3 ha. It is surrounded by a metal fence on concrete foundation. Ca. 330 gravestones survived, of which approx. 150 matzevot were used to build the lapidarium, fenced by a chain on metal posts. The matzevot were gathered on three platforms in the form of a stepped pyramid. On two lower ones, they were arranged in a rectangle, and on the highest platform, in a row. The cemetery is the place of burial of many outstanding members of Jewish community of Kielce, including many tzadikim — charismatic religious leaders of Chasidism: inter alia Chaim Szmul Horowicz; Mordechaj Twerski, who was called "Motełe of Kazimierz"; rabbi Dawid Goldman; Ozer Abracham Rabinowicz; Elemelech Jakub Rabinowiz; Nisan Jehuda Twerski, killed by the Nazis in 1942. They graves became a destination of pilgrimages of many religious Jews. On the cemetery, there is a board commemorating children from the labour camp operated at Jasna and Stolarska Streets, executed on 23 May of 1943. First and last names of the victims are engraved on it, along with an inscription of the following content: "Here rest the holy ashes of our 45 dearest innocent children, murdered brutally by German criminals on 23rd of May 1943. The youngest child was 15 months, and the oldest one 15 years old". The Jewish cemetery is also the place of burial of the victims of the so-called Kielce pogrom, commemorated by a monument of July 2010, erected at the initiative of the Jan Karski Association, with support of private individuals. Names of all victims of the pogrom, who were killed on 4 July 1946, are placed on the board, along with those who died of injuries in the next days. Next to the list, there is also a short description of the events in four languages: Yiddish, Hebrew, English and Polish. One of the elements of the monument is a Star of David with the inscription "4 VII 1946". Next to it, a 500-pound rock brought from Israel is placed.

The cemetery is closed for visitors, data of the person holding keys is available on an information board.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 26.08.2014.

Bibliography

  • Burchard P., Pamiątki i zabytki kultury żydowskiej w Polsce, Warszawa 1990, pp. 138-139.
  • Sabat T., Zub J., Konserwacja zabytkowych cmentarzy [in:] compiled by Cedro J., Prace konserwatorskie w woj. świętokrzyskim w latach 2001-2012, Kielce 2014, pp. 183.
  • Szczepański J., Cmentarze kieleckie, Kielce 1982.
  • Urbański K., Kieleccy Żydzi [in:] Cmentarz oraz zabytki kultury żydowskiej w Kielcach 1862-1987, Kielce 1988.
  • Urbański K., Społeczność żydowska w Kielcach, Kielce 1989.
  • Urbański K., Kieleccy Żydzi, Kielce 1993.
  • Urbański K., Zagłada ludności żydowskiej Kielc 1939-1945, Kielce 1994.
  • Urbański K., Gminy żydowskie duże w województwie kieleckim, Kielce 2003.
  • Urbański K., Almanach gmin żydowskich województwa kieleckiego w latach 1918-1939, Kielce 2007.
  • Urbański K., Blumenfeld R., Słownik historii kieleckich Żydów, Kielce 1995.
  • Bielawski K., Białek B., Kielce (woj. świętokrzyskie), www.kirkuty.xip.pl

General information

  • Type: Jewish cemetery
  • Chronology: 1870 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Pakosz , Kielce
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district Kielce, commune Kielce
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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