Jaworzno Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish cemetery in Jaworzno is located at Aleja Józefa Piłsudskiego Street, about 3 km west of the town centre. The cemetery’s exact establishment is unknown, though it was most likely established in the second half of the 19th century. The cemetery was established in the area of a private plot owned by Jakób Bester. 18 years later it became the property of the charity association “Chesed v’Emes.”
The last burial took place in 1942. Before the cemetery in Jaworzno was founded, Jews from the town were buried in Jewish cemeteries in Będzin, Chrzanów, or Trzebinia. The area of the cemetery is now about 0.25 hectares, which is about a quarter of the original area. The rest of the cemetery is located under Aleja Józefa Piłsudskiego Street and in the areas adjacent to the present cemetery. About 340 tombstones have been preserved in the cemetery, the oldest of which dates to 1884.
Typical decorations and inscriptions in Hebrew have been preserved on the tombstones. In the 1990s, the cemetery was cleaned up at the initiative of the former Jewish inhabitants of the town. In July 1995, a plaque commemorating the Jewish victims of World War II was unveiled. On the plaque there is the following inscription in Polish, Hebrew, and English: “Monument dedicated to the memory of the Jews of Jaworzno and its vicinity, murdered by the Nazis during World War II. They will always remain in our hearts.” Thanks to the financial support of the Municipal Museum in Jaworzno, in 2012 the book “Cmentarz żydowski w Jaworznie” (The Jewish Cemetery in Jaworzno) was published, which was the result of inventory work carried out in the cemetery. The cemetery area is forested.
Jaworzno was founded before 1229 and was granted town rights in 1901. The first records of Jewish settlement in Jaworzno date to the first half of the 18th century. Jewish population in the town over the years was as follows: 15 in 1748, 58 in 1787, 406 in 1886, and 955 in 1900. By 1910, 1,325 Jews lived in Jaworzno, constituting 10.1% of the total population. During World War II, in the spring of 1940, Jews from Katowice, Chorzów, and Siemianowice were transported to Jaworzno. On July 12 and 13, 1942, all the Jews from the town (2,092 people) were deported to KL Auschwitz-Birkenau. The last two families were deported on August 1, 1943.