Krakow Podgorze Old Jewish Cemetery
In 1825, 150 Jews lived in Podgórze, and by 1900 this number increased to 5,422. At the end of the 19th century, the Jews of Podgórze officially established themselves as an organized community. In 1915, the town became a district of Kraków. In 1936, the Jewish community in Podgórze was incorporated into the Kraków Jewish community. Most of the local Jews died during the Holocaust.
The cemetery is in the southern part of Krakow on Jerozolimska Street. The south end of the cemetery borders the Jewish cemetery at Abrahama Street. The Jewish community of Podgórze established the cemetery in 1888. In 1913, the land of the cemetery was expanded. The cemetery was fenced and there was a funeral house. In the 1920’s, the road leading to the cemetery was named Jerozolimska Street and the entrance was at 25 Jerozolimska Street. During World War I, War Cemetery No. 385 was established within the cemetery, where 19 soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army were buried. In 1937, the cemetery was officially taken over and managed by the Jewish Community of Kraków. In 1941, the Germans closed the cemetery, and in 1942 established a forced labour camp in Płaszów, which was later converted into a concentration camp. Barracks were built in the cemetery, and the funeral house was turned into a bathhouse. The tombstones were used for construction and for paving the camp roads. During the liquidation of the Kraków Ghetto in March 1943, the bodies of people murdered in the Ghetto were buried in the cemetery. Funerals of camp prisoners were held in the cemetery. Executions were carried out in the cemetery as well. In 1944, the Germans burned the bodies of those buried in a mass grave. After 1945, the remains of the Płaszów concentration camp were looted. The boundaries of the cemetery are imperceptible and there is no fence. Most of the above-ground structures and features of the cemetery were destroyed. In the western part of the cemetery, there are about 100 concrete tomb walls and one single intact matzevah, commemorating Chaim Jakub Abrahamer (died May 25, 1932). Plans are underway to commemorate the cemetery as part of the project to create the KL Płaszów Memorial Site. The facility is listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments as “Płaszów – the area of the former concentration camp.”