Dobrodzien Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Opole Voivodeship
Site address
Lubliniecka Street.
GPS coordinates
50.7245301, 18.4629536
Perimeter length
317 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The cemetery has a wall.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is well maintained and taking care of, secured by the “Antyschematy” Organisation. The matzevot are in situ and mostly in good condition, with readable inscriptions. Some matzevot, mostly fragments have been built into the cemetery wall. Matzevot were broken due to recent vandalism.
Number of existing gravestones
200 Matzevot. The cemetery also contains many fragments.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Property of local community
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

Dobrodzień was established in 1374. Jewish residents began to settle in the area in the 18th century. In 1781, a wooden synagogue was built. In 1787, there were 120 Jewish residents in Dobrodzień. In 1848, a stone synagogue was built. In 1849, there were 233 Jewish residents in the town. Due to the western migration Jews to Śląsk, the number decreased to 175 in 1896. Despite the increasing anti-Semitic sentiments, there were 38 Jewish residents in the city in 1933. In 1939, there were only 14. It is not entirely known what happened to them, likely they were transported to one of the ghettos in the General Government.

The Jewish cemetery in Dobrodzień is located approximately 3 km east of the city center. To the north, from the side of the village of Gosławice, there is an access path. The cemetery is rectangular in shape with an acreage of 0.54 hectares, and is surrounded by a stone wall. The original layout is not visible. The borders have been preserved and correlate to the borders from 1939.
The cemetery was most likely founded around 1729. In 1939, it became the property of the Jewish Association of Germany, and in 1943, it was taken over by the Gestapo. During World II, it was destroyed, a process that continued after 1945. After the war, the undertaker’s quarters were demolished.
There are approximately 200 matzevot preserved in the cemetery, the oldest dating back to 1729 or 1730. The majority are made of sandstone or limestone. Decorations and inscriptions in Hebrew and German have also been preserved. Among the tombstones are some belonging to the relatives of Edyta Stein (canonized by the Catholic Church).
As part of the “Antyschematy” project, students from Poland, Germany and Israel cleaned the area, and a lapidary was built from the broken pieces of tombstones in July 2001. The project was coordinated and implemented by the Janusz Korczak Society of Poland. At the same time, the tombstones were inventoried. On May 27th 1988, the cemetery was added to the Register of Historical Landmarks under the designation 439/88.