Jeleniewo Jewish Cemetery
Jews likely settled in Jeleniewo in the mid-18th century. In 1921, 175 Jews lived in the village (37% of the entire population). In December 1939, the Germans deported the Jewish community to Suwałki, and then to Łomazy. Some of them were likely also deported to Biała Podlaska. All, or most of Jeleniewo’s Jews were murdered during World War II.
The cemetery is located about 200 metres southeast of the village centre, 100 metres east of Suwalska Street, and covers the geodesic plot No. 344 and is shaped like a pentagon with an area of approximately 0.39 hectares. The cemetery was likely established in the second half of the 18th century and was in use until the deportation of the local Jews in 1939. The destruction of the cemetery began during World War II and continued through the following decades. Some of the local population took part in the destruction process and the tombstones were used as building material. The cemetery has suffered extensive damange. In a 1989 Cemetery Card, in the paragraph “The General State of Preservation” the following was written:
“The condition is bad. The facility is partially overgrown with bushes and young trees. Tombstones and graves are completely invisible.”
At that time, the cemetery was enclosed with a metal mesh fence with an iron gate. In the early 1990’s, at the initiative of Herman Storick from Larchmont, the cemetery was cleaned up and fenced with a stone wall. At the entrance, a monument designed by Cecilia Storick dedicated to the Jewish community of Jeleniewo and the cemetery was unveiled. A brochure with the history of the Jews of Jeleniewo and a catalog of the tombstones was also published. There are about 30 tombstones within the cemetery. Most of them are made of fieldstone granite, the oldest of which dates to 1788. The area is regularly cleaned and maintained. This work is financed by Herman Storick and carried out in cooperation with the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage and the Nissenbaum Family Foundation. The owner of the cemetery is the State Treasury and it is listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Podlaskie Voivodeship.