Kozienice Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Masovian Voivodeship
Site address
No.2 Wójcików Street. The cemetery covers a forest land plot between Wójcików and Radomska streets.
GPS coordinates
51.5775763, 21.5470648
Perimeter length
684 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
There is a modern brick and metal fence (2-2.5m high) and an iron gate in good condition.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The Jewish cemetery of Kozienice is situated in a wooded area on the south part of the town. The cemetery is adjacent to Wójcików Street from the north, Radomska Street from the west and a meadow and lake Zagożdżonka from the south-east. The cemetery area is fenced and tombstones have been preserved. Our field team was unable to gain access to the cemetery.
Number of existing gravestones
NID and sztetl.org.pl mention 90-100 tombstones. Our field team, who couldn’t gain access to the cemetery, noted 30 standing, 50 lying as well 40 + fragmentsof tombstones.
Date of oldest tombstone
1821 (info by sztetl.org.pl)
Date of newest tombstone
1936 (photo by sztetl.org.pl)
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
There is a rebuilt ohel dedicated to local tzaddik Israel ben Shabtai (Maggid of Kozhnitz) and his descendants.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The first records of Jews in Kozienice date to 1607. From the 18th century, the town was the seat of a Hasidic dynasty (Kozhnitz Hasidim). In 1921, 3,811 Jews lived in Kozienice (55.4% of the entire population), most of whom were killed by in 1942 by the Germans in Treblinka.

The cemetery is located about 700 metres south-west of the city centre, on a hill at the junction of Radomska Street and Wojcików. The cemetery was established at the beginning of the 17th century. Its existence was first mentioned in the privilege granted by King Władysław IV Waza on March 9, 1633. The area of the cemetery was gradually expanded. In 1814, Yisroel Hopstein—the Kozhnitzer Magid and first Kozhnitzer Rebbe—was buried at the cemetery, and an ohel was built over his grave. In the following years, members of his family were buried in the ohel as well. During World War II, the cemetery was devastated. In September 1939, the ohel was damaged during the bombing of the town. By order of the Germans, some tombstones were used to reinforce the roads and courtyards. In 1942, the bodies of those who were murdered during the deportation of Jews to Treblinka were buried in a mass grave.

After the war, activists from the Jewish Committee in Kozienice exhumed the bodies of people from graves in and around the city and reburied them in the cemetery. On April 27, 1949, 32 people were buried in the cemetery and a monument was erected on their grave. In the following decades, the cemetery sustained further degradation. On June 3, 1957, the Minister of Municipal Economy signed an order to close the cemetery, the area of which was 7.8251 hectares. In 1984, a part of the cemetery was fenced and the ohel was rebuilt. In 2004, thanks to the efforts of Rabbi Mendel Reichberg, a solid fence and a new ohel were built. The cemetery remains fenced. In its north-eastern part there is a monument and a grave for Holocaust victims, as well as an ohel with a separate women’s gallery. Within the cemetery, there are single destroyed sandstone matzevot and numerous granite fieldstones without any inscriptions. Most of the area is covered with forest. The cemetery is owned by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage. The property is listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments.