Ciechanowiec Oldest Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Podlaskie Voivodeship
Wysokie Mazowieckie
Site address
The cemetery site is located between Uszyńska and Mogilna streets, near to Ralkowa Street and next to private property at Uszyńska Street no 10. The cemetery territory is overbuilt with many private properties.
GPS coordinates
52.686861, 22.488354
Perimeter length
342 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
Only a small part of the old cemetery wall is preserved. Height is about 1.5 meters.
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
This is a demolished and overbuilt cemetery with a small preserved section of the old concrete cemetery wall, including a corner post made of bricks. The area behind this wall is not overbuilt (the perimeter of this terrain is approximately 5 x 40 meters). It seems to be the only intact fragment of this cemetery. This area is densely covered with vegetation. The remaining part of the cemetery plot of land is now densely built up with private properties (including a milk collection point).
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

In her book “Mikrotoponymia Ciechanowiec,” Irena Maryniakowa states that the first Jewish cemetery was established in the Middle Ages near Mickiewicza Street. However, no other information is available about this cemetery. The first recognized Jewish cemetery was established in the 17th century and was located at Uszyńska Street. It was devastated by the Germans during World War II and covered an area of 1.5 hectares. After the war, a dairy plant and residential houses were built over the area. No traces of tombstones have survived and only a fragment of a brick fence is visible.

The first information about Ciechanowiec dates to the 13th century. Ciechanowiec was granted Magdeburg town rights at the beginning of the 14th century. In the 16th century, the town was an important centre of the Arian movement. The first written information about Jews in the town dates to 1523. The Jews of Ciechanowiec initially belonged to the kehilla (organized Jewish community) in Tykocin, and an independent kehilla was likely established in the second half of the 17th century. In the second half of the 18th century, Jews constituted about 60% of the town’s population and were the fourth largest kehilla in the Podlasie Region. After 1807 and following the Treaty of Tylża, the town was divided: the eastern part came under Russian rule and the western part under Polish rule. About 900 Jews (about 75%) lived in the Polish part of Ciechanowiec (the so-called New Town). On the Russian side, the community numbered about 2,500 people (less than 70%).

There were two separate synagogue boards and many well-known Orthodox rabbis, including: Szabtaj ben Eljezer Zussman, Chajim ben Perec ha-kohen, Jaakow Lejb Heller, Eliiachu Baruch Komaj, Dawid Kamin, and Mosze ha-Lewi Rubinstein. During World War II, refugees from other occupied Polish towns flocked to Ciechanowiec, some of whom were incorporated into the Red Army. In October 1941, a ghetto was established in Ciechanowiec, where Jews from the surrounding villages were also gathered. A year later, shortly before the liquidation of the ghetto, the Germans carried out a mass execution of about 285 Jews in nearby Pobirki. The rest were transported to the extermination camp in Treblinka II, and some to Majdanek in Lublin.

Ciechanowiec Oldest Jewish Cemetery
Ciechanowiec Oldest Jewish Cemetery
Ciechanowiec Oldest Jewish Cemetery
Ciechanowiec Oldest Jewish Cemetery
Ciechanowiec Oldest Jewish Cemetery
Ciechanowiec Oldest Jewish Cemetery
Ciechanowiec Oldest Jewish Cemetery
Ciechanowiec Oldest Jewish Cemetery