Knyszyn Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Podlaskie Voivodeship
Site address
The cemetery is located at Białostocka Street, but within the administrative boundaries of the Grądy settlement, approximately 2 km south-east of the centre of Knyszyn. The entrance is located next to No.45A Grądy Street. Cadastral parcel no. 200804_5.0003.597
GPS coordinates
53.306585, 22.944686
Perimeter length
980 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
It is a well-maintained, marked and described, unfenced Jewish cemetery with hundreds of preserved tombstones. The area is clean, if slightly overgrown. Trees have been felled, no scrubs or high grass remain and the paths are clear. The cemetery is located in the valuable park with oak, pine, lime and spruce trees. Some of them are over 170 years old.
Number of existing gravestones
According to the information board in the cemetery and there are 714 tombstones.
Date of oldest tombstone
1806 (according to
Date of newest tombstone
The seventies of the twentieth century
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The first written mention of Jews in Knyszyn was in 1605, though significant Jewish settlement only began in the 18th century. In 1921, 1,235 Jews lived in the town, most of whom were murdered by the Germans in Treblinka in November 1942. The cemetery is located about 1.5 km from the centre of Knyszyn, within the administrative borders of the village of Grady, in a complex of former ponds of the residence of King Zygmunt August. It covers an irregularly shaped plot with an area of about 2.8 hectares. There are water reservoirs in parts of the cemetery. The cemetery was likely established at the beginning of the 18th century and the Jewish community received official permission to use it on April 14, 1786. At that time, the area was fenced. Around 1925, the Jewish community purchased a neighbouring plot and established the new cemetery. In the interwar period, there was a building next to the cemetery that served either as a watchman’s apartment or as a funeral house. The cemetery served as a burial place until World War II. 74 Jews who were murdered on November 2, 1942 during the deportation of the Jewish population are buried there. The gradual decay of the cemetery presumably began during the war, a process in which the local population participated. The neglected cemetery gradually became overgrown with wild vegetation. Since 2012, the cemetery has been taken care of by the Zygmunt August Regional Association in Knyszyn. At the initiative of the association, the vegetation was cut down, the graves of Holocaust victims were marked, and a tourist trail was created, as well as periodic cleaning of the cemetery. About 680 tombstones mostly made of fieldstone granite are preserved within the cemetery. The oldest identified tombstone dates to 1806. The owner of the cemetery is the State Treasury, the user is the Knyszyn Commune, and it is listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Podlaskie Voivodeship. A partial list of tombstones is available at