Kromolow Jewish Cemetery
Jews likely first settled in Kromołów (a district of Zawiercie from 1977) in the 16th century. In 1857, 517 Jews (36% of the total population) lived in the town, and 275 in 1921 (11%). Most of Kromołów’s Jews were murdered between 1942-1943 by the Germans in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The cemetery is located about 500 metres southwest of the market square in Kromołów, at the end of Piaskowa Street, and covers a rectangular plot of land with an area of 0.86 hectares. The cemetery was established in the first half of the 18th century and served as the burial place for Jews from Kromołów, Zawiercie Małe, Zawiercie Duże, Bzów, and other nearby towns. The cemetery was gradually enlarged. The cemetery was fenced with a concrete wall and had a funeral house as well as a caretaker’s apartment at the entrance.
During World War II, the cemetery began to fall into disrepair. On November 17, 1958, the Minister of Municipal Economy—following the resolution of the Presidium of the County National Council in Zawiercie dated August 16, 1957—signed an order to close the cemetery. About 900 tombstones have survived in the cemetery, the oldest of which memorialises Sulka, the daughter of Awraham Hirsz, who died in 1730. The most recent identified monument stands on the grave of a person named H. H. Goldmitz, who died in 1942. In the southern part of the cemetery is the ohel of Rabbi Izrael Lejb Gancwajch, son of Jaakow, from Sasów, who died in 1892. Other notable rabbis who are buried in the cemetery include Mordechaj Josef, son of Meir Segal Tenenholc, who died in 1875, and Jaakow Isachar, son of Icchak Buksman, who died in 1903. A part of the original wall, a funeral home, and an administrative building have been preserved. In 2019, at the initiative of Andrew Rajcher from Australia, renovations began on the ohel of Rabbi Gancwajch. The owner of the cemetery is the Jewish Community in Katowice. The cemetery is listed in the Municipal and Provincial Register of Monuments and in the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Śląskie Province.