Chorzele Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Masovian Voivodeship
Site address
The Jewish cemetery is situated at the western end of Ogrodowa Street. The eastern border of the cemetery area adjoins a private residential house, 56 Ogrodowa Street.
GPS coordinates
53.2606694, 20.8898699
Perimeter length
369 metres.
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
There is an iron fence, 2m high, installed by the Nissenbaum foundation and the Association of Jews from Chorzelsk in Israel.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The Jewish cemetery of Chorzele is situated in a meadow in the south-western outskirts of the town. The area is situated between Ogrodowa and Nadrzeczna Streets, the surrounding areas are forest (from the west) and residential houses (from the east). The cemetery site is covered with wild grass and rare bushes. Restoration works were carried out between 1989 to 2000 by the efforts of local authorities, the Nissenbaum Foundation and the Association of Jews from Chorzele from abroad. Unfortunately, our field team was unable to gain access to the cemetery.
Number of existing gravestones
The majority of the preserved pieces of tombstones have been embedded into the central memorial lapidarium stella, which are on a square concrete platform. Several large fragments and intact tombstones are installed vertically at the four corners of the platform.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
There are different structures in the cemetery area: a Holocaust memorial, dedicated to members of the Fiszerung family, unveiled in 2006. There is also a Stelae Lapidarium, made of tombstone fragments, unveiled in 1991. A tziun is seen in the photographs, however it is impossible to see the inscriptions: it may be the modern matzeva of Mordechaj Chaim Sokołower, the last rabbi of Chorzele).
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The Chorzele Jewish cemetery was established by at least the second half of the 19th century and was located southwest of the town centre. It covered an area of about 0.9 hectares and was shaped like a trapezoid. The cemetery was maintained by the local Chevra Kadisha (burial society). Based on a post-war initiative to recover tombstones, it is known that the tombstones were made of sandstone, field stones, concrete, marble, and even terrazzo. During World War II, the Germans devastated the cemetery and used the matzevot to harden the sidewalks. A place for exercise was established in the cemetery, and the western part was used for burying German soldiers. After the war, the tombstones were destroyed by the locals.

Cleaning work was carried out in the cemetery in 1989. At that time, the Social Committee for the Renewal of the Jewish Cemetery was established under the leadership of the mayor, Ludwik Rogowski. The activities of the committee were also supported by the local priest. A monument made of matzevot recovered from the town and found during renovation of Mostowa Street was unveiled in 1991. The creator of the monument was the Association of Jews from Chorzele in Israel. In 2006, a plaque dedicated to the family of Dawid Fiszerung, an Auschwitz survivor, was unveiled at the cemetery. Several matzevot from the Chorzele cemetery were used to erect a monument at the Jewish cemetery in Przasnysz.

Chorzele was granted town privileges in 1542. The beginnings of Jewish settlement date back to the end of the 18th century. In 1792, Jews constituted 2.6% of the total population, and by 1827, the number of Jews increased to 35.4% of the total population. Towards the beginning of the 1930s, an independent kehilla (organized Jewish community) was established in the town. In 1905, Jews constituted 57% of the total population (2,301 people). During World War I, the Russians displaced Jews from the town and many of them found shelter in Przasnysz. Zionist sentiment, intensified after the war, led a large part of the community (about 150 people) left for Israel. During World War II, a ghetto was established in the town. Until December 1941, Jews were gradually deported from there to other cities and towns, including Warsaw, Maków Mazowiecki, Legionowo, Węgrów, and Mława, from where most of them were deported to Treblinka or Auschwitz in the following year.

Chorzele Jewish Cemetery
Chorzele Jewish Cemetery
Chorzele Jewish Cemetery
Chorzele Jewish Cemetery
Chorzele Jewish Cemetery
Chorzele Jewish Cemetery