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Jewish cemetery - Zabytek.pl

Wyszogród, Niepodległości

woj. mazowieckie, pow. płocki, gm. Wyszogród-miasto

The presence of Jews in Wyszogród was first mentioned in 1423 in the list of payers.There were eight of them at that time.

The creation of the Jewish community dates back to the 15th or 16th century. At the same time, outside the town, a Jewish cemetery was established, now known as the old cemetery. Between the 15th and 16th centuries, the town was inhabited by a dozen or perhaps several dozen of Jews. It is assumed that in the 1560s they could have temporarily left the town, as in 1563 they are mentioned as payers of the so-called Jewish poll tax, but they are not mentioned during the census of 1569. The later presence of Jews in Wyszogród is evidenced by the creation of a Jewish town in the 17th century in the so-called Podzamcze, which was supervised by town governors.

            The Jews of Wyszogród were mainly engaged in trade, in which they soon began to dominate. The trade in grain and floating it down the Vistula River brought high income. Distillery also played an important role. The privilege of King Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki for the Jews of Płońsk, which in 1677 was included in the municipal book of Wyszogród, guaranteed the Jews freedom to trade in all goods and the lack of restrictions on the production and marketing of alcohol. Its provisions remained valid until the end of the 18th century. At that time, apart from trade, the Jews from Wyszogród were engaged in craft and services, including tailoring, furriery, bakery and inn-keeping.

In the 18th century, the number of Jewish residents of Wyszogród was higher than the number of Christians. In 1808, 2883 Jews lived in the town, which constituted 90% of its population, and in the subsequent years of the 19th century, the percentage of the Jewish population was about 70%. At the end of the 18th century or at the beginning of the 19th century a brick synagogue was erected in the town, before 1930 a brick house of prayer was built in the neighbourhood - a school and a wooden mikvah. In the interwar period in Wyszogród there were conflicts between Jews (in 1921 they constituted slightly more than 57% of the city's population) and the police and local authorities, which concerned Sunday rest. In 1939 there were about 2,700 Jews living in Wyszogród.

            During World War II, in December 1940, the Germans established a ghetto in the city. Jews were forced to do various types of work, including the demolition of the local synagogue.  Some people found themselves in a labour camp in Bielsko. In the following year, a group of Jews was transferred to the forced labour camp in Działdowo, and later to Nowa Słupia. In view of the final liquidation of the Wyszogród ghetto on 29 November 1941, the rest of its inhabitants were transported to the ghettos in Czerwińsk and Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, from where they were transported to Treblinka.

                A small group of Jews, who returned to the city after the war, founded the Jewish Committee. In 1946 it had 17 members. Soon afterwards, most of the surviving Jews probably left Poland.

            The old Jewish cemetery served the Jews of Wyszogród until 1831, when the plague broke out. In 1830 a new Jewish cemetery was opened on the outskirts of the town. During World War II the necropolis was destroyed and desecrated by the Germans. The tombstones were removed and used for paving work. Two years after the war, the Jewish Committee founded a monument commemorating those wartime events. In 1989, thanks to the efforts of Alex Gmach, another monument was erected on the cemetery - commemorating local Jews murdered during the Holocaust. A gate was also erected. The initiative of the Brzozowski family and the local Jewish community was to set up symbolic matzevah in the cemetery. The cemetery is closed.

            The new Jewish cemetery in Wyszogród is located at the intersection of Pokoju and Niepodległości Streets, next to the Roman Catholic cemetery in the south-eastern part of the town. Today, it occupies an area of ​​0.2 hectares. The cemetery, which was wooded after the war, has no fence, but only four modern brick gate posts at the side of Pokoju Street. There are only two gravestones left. On the axis of the cemetery there is a monument in the form of an obelisk on which  the  star of David, the menorah and the coat of arms with the Polish eagle are depicted, as well as plaques with the following inscriptions: “In memory of the Jews from Wyszogród murdered by the Nazis in 1939-1945. The Jewish Committee of the Polish American community, Wyszogród 1989” (inscription in Hebrew and Polish); “Even the dead were not left in peace. This cemetery was desecrated by the Nazi barbarians in 1939-1945.” (inscription in Hebrew and Polish); “In memory of all the compatriots of Wyszogród murdered by the Nazis in 1939-1945. The Social Committee, Wyszogród 1989” (inscription in Polish); There is a second monument nearby in the form of a tombstone. It bears the following inscription: “Even the dead were not left in peace! This cemetery was desecrated by the Nazi barbarians in 1939-1945. Funded by the Jewish Committee. Wyszogród 8.7.47”. There are several symbolic matzevah around. A contemporary symbolic stone with a plaque with the following inscription was also placed in the cemetery: “In memory of the Brzozowski Family murdered in 1942. Remembrance from the son - USA.”

Compiled by Anna Wawrzyńczuk.

Owner of copyrights to the description: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.