Labowa Jewish Cemetery
The Jewish cemetery in Łabowa was established around the same time as the establishment of the local Jewish community in the first half of the 19th century. It appears on the map from 1846, and the oldest tombstone found dates to 1838. The cemetery was located south of the town, on the slope of a small hill separated by two ravines, on land separated from the estate of Count Stadnicki. There was a brick mortuary in the northeastern part of the cemetery. The area of the cemetery was approximately 0.56 hectares. The cemetery was partially destroyed during World War II though burials continued to take place until at least 1940. After the war, the cemetery fell into disrepair until 1982 when, thanks to the efforts of the descendants of the former Jewish community, it was restored. The cemetery was enclosed with a metal mesh fence and a memorial obelisk was erected in honour of the victims. The remaining tombstones were placed on concrete foundations.
Approximately 250 matzevot, mostly made of sandstone (and some made of marble) are preserved. The greatest concentration of preserved matzevot is in the central part of the cemetery (157 tombstones), and southern part of the cemetery which is located on a hill and where the significant members of the community were buried (69 matzevot). The cemetery is now enclosed with a new iron fence with a decorative gate, funded by Leo Gatterer from Dobra (near Limanowa). In January 2020, two information boards (co-financed by the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute) were erected in the cemetery. The cemetery is maintained by the Jewish Community in Kraków. It is also occasionally cleaned by students at the local school.
The first mention of the village of Łabowa dates to 1431. In 1601, the ownership of Łabowa was granted by Grzegorz Branicki to the Lubomirski family (who owned the village for nearly 2000 years). In 1801, the village was bought by Franciszek Stadnicki. At that time, Lemkos, Poles, and Roma people lived there, as well as individual Jewish families (9 people in 1765, and 38 people in 1785). The new owner issued trade privileges, which encouraged Jewish settlement. In the 1880s, about 362 Jews lived in the village. In 1930, Łabowa had approximately 250 Jews households, constituting about 25% of the total population. An independent Jewish community was established at the beginning of the 19th century. The first wooden synagogue in the village dates to 1805. In 1938, 461 people belonged to the kehilla. During the war, there was a labour camp in the village. In 1940, the Jews from Łabowa were deported to nearby ghettos (including Nowy Sącz, Stary Sącz, Rabka and Mszana Dolna) from where they were deported to Bełżec, Treblinka, and Płaszów in 1942.