September 29, 2020

Construction Starts at Nowe Miasto Jewish Cemetery

ESJF are delighted to announce that today we began construction work on our new protective fencing at Nowe Miasto Jewish cemetery in the Płońsk district of Mazowiecki, Poland.

The cemetery contains tombstones dating back to the first half of the 19th century. However, there has been a Jewish presence in Nowe Miasto since at least 1775. The development of Jewish trades and crafts in the town saw this population triple from 513 at the beginning of the 19th century to 1,667 at the end, by which point a synagogue, Jewish hospital, and a heder were all in use by the community. However, emigration led to a significant drop in the population at the turn of the century, and by the 1921 census, the Jewish population had dwindled to 780.

On September 5th, 1939, Nazi forces occupied the town. A number of the Jewish residents were transported to the Warsaw ghetto and the Radzymin labour camp. A ghetto was then set up, in which the remaining Jews in the town, along with around 1,200 Jews from Ciechanów and 750 from Drobin, were confined. Due to the cramped living conditions and lack of sanitation, a typhus outbreak resulted in the deaths of around 300 of the inhabitants. The occupants of the ghetto attempted an uprising, but it was quelled by the Nazi forces, and the ghetto was liquidated on November 18th, 1942. The remaining inhabitants were deported to Płońska, where they were systematically murdered.

The cemetery has since become severely overgrown, threatening the remaining tombstones on the site. However, thanks to this new work, funded by the Auswärtiges Amt Foreign Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany, this valuable part of Mazowiecki’s heritage will be cleared and provided the protection it deserves.

We would like to thank our partners at FODZ, whose support was vital in putting this project together.

Further updates will follow as work progresses!

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