Jewish Cemetery, Ożarów
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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A relatively well-preserved cemetery with many tombstones (matzevah) of rich and varied ornamentation; a source of knowledge the art of stone-cutting and the fate of the Jewish community in Ożarow in the late 19th and the early 20th century. It is also the Place of National Remembrance.

History

The cemetery was created around the mid-18th century. Originally, an ohel was placed in its centre erected over the grave of Tzaddik Arie Yehuda Lejbusz, the son of Yechiel Chaim Epstein, died on 3 April 1914, the third Ożarów Rabbi, a disciple of Eleazar of Kozienice, Avraham of Turzyska and Chaim David of Piotrków, the author of the religious work Birkat Tow. On the west side, at the wall, there used to be a funeral parlour, now destroyed. Only some fragments of the foundation are left. The cemetery was operating till 1942, that is, the beginning of the relocation and mass extermination of Jews. Already during WW2, but also after it, the cemetery was vandalized. Most of the tombstones were used as a building material, also a large part of the wall was disintegrated along with the funeral parlour and ohel.In 2001 the cemetery was cleared, a new fencing was erected and commemorative plaques were installed at the mass grave and the gate. In 2001 the ohel was reconstructed.

Description

The cemetery is situated on a small headland, among meadows and orchards in the south-east end of Ożarow, approx. 80 m from a Roman Catholic cemetery. Its shape is rectangular. It occupies nearly 1 hectare of land. It is encircled by a low sandstone wall with forged fence decorated with the Stars of David. Right behind the entrance, there is a mass grave of 120 people - the victims of the Nazi terror of 1942. In the center of the cemetery, there is the ohel of Tzaddik Arie Yehuda Lejbusz Epstein reconstructed in 2011. Most preserved tombstones are gathered around the structure. A few hundred steles from the 2nd half 19th century were saved of a rich and diverse style, mostly made of sandstone. They are embellished with reliefs featuring, e.g. a candlestick, a tilted jug or bowl, a lion, an open book, a cabinet with books, or a crown. The tombstone are arranged in rows, facing the south. Their condition varies: some are very well preserved, some are tilted, some have collapsed, cracked or got broken. The cemetery is now heavily overgrown, which prevents access to some of the tombstones.

The site is accessible to visitors.

Compiled by Nina Glińska, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 16.10.2014.

Bibliography

  • Burchard P.,  Pamiątki i zabytki kultury żydowskiej w Polsce, Warszawa 1990, pp. 176.
  • Florek M., Zabytkowe cmentarze woj. tarnobrzeskiego, Warszawa 1995, pp. 112.

General information

  • Type: Jewish cemetery
  • Chronology: poł. XVIII w. - 1942 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Partyzantów 22, Ożarów
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district opatowski, commune Ożarów - miasto
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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