Goniadz Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Podlaskie Voivodeship
Site address
The cemetery is located in a forest area along the western side of the road between Goniądz – Downary. Heading south along this road, stop by the western side of the road 200m after the Catholic cemetery. The cemetery area starts in the forest and is marked with an information board next to the road.
GPS coordinates
53.47693, 22.73307
Perimeter length
471 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The Jewish cemetery of Goniądz is situated in a forest area on the south of the town. It is unfenced and its original boundaries are unrecognisable. The area is mostly covered with mixed forest and self-seeding trees and shrubs. Due to the very dense vegetation some areas are difficult (or impossible) to explore. No ongoing maintenance is carried out. The cemetery is marked by an information board next to the main road. Some tombstones have been preserved.
Number of existing gravestones
22. Most of the tombstones have concrete “hoods” (cartouche) over the top part; a couple of matzevot also have a horizontal concrete sarcophagus next to them. Some of the “hood”-tombstones are badly damaged, many of them are overturned. 2 matzevot are made from simple, self-faced stone (likely granite). All of the located tombstones are located in the narrow zone, covered with high grass, next to the west border of the cemetery. A full list of matzevot, including descriptions, from the Jewish cemetery in Goniądz is available on the website of the Foundation for the Documentation of Jewish.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The cemetery of the former Jewish community in Goniądz is located about 1 km south of the market square, in the village of Łazy, on the western side of the road from Goniądz to Downary and covers an irregularly shaped plot of land with an area of 1.28 hectares. The cemetery’s establishment date is unknown, though it was probably established in the 18th century. It was mentioned in the inventory of the church in Goniądz on September 24, 1782. In July 1941, after the outbreak of the German-Soviet war, 59 Jews and 3 Poles suspected of collaborating with the Soviet authorities were murdered and buried at the cemetery. The cemetery fell into disrepair during and after World War II. The area became forested during the period of the People’s Republic of Poland. There are only several dozen tombstones in various conditions, in the form of granite, sandstone, and concrete stelae, partially embedded in concrete frames and concrete stela bases. There are about 20 matzevot with legible inscriptions. The oldest identified tombstone is dated February 20, 1843 (the list of preserved tombstones is available on the website: https://cemetery.jewish.org.pl/list/c_72). The cemetery is unfenced, and its boundaries are imperceptible. The area is partly covered with mixed forest and self-seeding plants. The cemetery is not regularly maintained and there is no form of commemoration. According to data from 1991, the owner of the cemetery is the State Treasury. The facility is listed in the Municipal and Provincial register of monuments.

The first records of Jews in Goniądz come from the beginning of the 18th century. In 1921, 1,135 Jews lived in the town. In 1941, at least 116 Jews were murdered during a pogrom. Most of the Jews of Goniądz were killed by the Germans between 1942 and 1943 in Treblinka and Auschwitz-Birkenau.