Drohiczyn Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish cemetery in Drohiczyn is located about 1.4 km south-east of the town centre, next to the Bug River, on a hill at Jaćwieży Street, in the wilderness of Judy Rowy, on plot no. 1669 shaped like a trapezoid with an area of 0.48 hectares (ha). (According to data from the Office for Religious Affairs from 1981, the cemetery covers an area of 0.56 ha). The cemetery’s establishment date is unknown, though it was likely established in the 19th century and no later than 1855. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was enclosed with a wooden fence and there was a wooden mortuary at the entrance. Presumably, the last burials took place in 1945, following the murder of two people in Drohiczyn. The cemetery has suffered extensive damage. In the period of the Polish People’s Republic, the plot was taken over by the State Treasury. On March 12, 1964, the Minister of Municipal Economy signed an order to close the cemetery. In the list of Jewish cemeteries prepared by the Office for Religious Affairs in 1981, in the case of Drohiczyn, the following is written: “There are no visible traces of the cemetery.”
In 2017, at the initiative of Lena Dragicka, in cooperation with local authorities and activists, the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland erected a monument in honour of the victims of the Holocaust. There are about 20 tombstones in the form of stelae made of granite field stones with inscriptions in Hebrew (the list is available at https://cemetery.jewish.org.pl/list/c_64). The oldest identified matzevah commemorates Cwi, a son of Elijahu, who died on March 13, 1855. On the side of the cemetery which borders Jaćwieży Street, there is a wooden plaque with information about the cemetery and a monument in the form of a black granite stele, commemorating the local Jewish community. There is no fence, the boundaries of the cemetery are imperceptible, and the area is covered with forest. The owner of the cemetery is the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage. The facility is listed in the Municipal and Provincial Register of Monuments and the Register of Immovable Monuments.
The first records of Jews in Drohiczyn come from the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century. 37 Jews lived in the town in 1799, 784 in 1897, and 814 in 1921 (41% of the total population). Most of the town’s Jews were murdered in 1942 by the Germans in Treblinka.