Lodz Old Jewish Cemetery
Jewish settlement in Łódź began to develop at the end of the 18th century. Izrael Poznański was one of the leading entrepreneurs in Łódź. In 1921, 156,155 Jews lived in the city (34.6% of the total population), most of whom were murdered between 1942-1944 by the Germans the Kulmhof and Auschwitz Birkenau camps. There is still currently a Jewish community in Łódź.
The cemetery is located near Zachodnia, Bazarowa, Osiedlowa, and Rybna streets. In its initial period, it was located outside the main area of the city. The cemetery was established in 1811 and was gradually expanded, eventually covering about 3 hectares. It was surrounded by a red brick wall. The main entrance and the brick funeral house were located on the side of Wesoła Street. In 1892, when further expansion became impossible and urban buildings were continually being developed, the cemetery was closed but, in the following years, funerals still took place occasionally. In 1938, at the initiative of the Jewish community, the book “The Old Jewish Cemetery in Łódź” was published. The cemetery became neglected around this time. There were 3,871 tombstones (the number of actual burials was higher), and the mortuary was used as a shelter for the mentally ill. During World War II, the cemetery was used as part of the ghetto. In 1942, at the behest of the Germans, a timber yard was set up there. In 1949, the Łódź City Council built a road, part of which ran through the cemetery. In the following years, apartment buildings were erected in the cemetery. As a result of its destruction, the only traces of the cemetery that have survived are a fragment of the wall at Rybna and Osiedlowa Streets and two fragments of tombstones. In 2004, thanks to the efforts of the Nissenbaum Family Foundation and the City Hall of Łódź, a monument commemorating the cemetery on Rybna Street was unveiled. In 2008, in connection with the construction of a tram line at Zachodnia Street, the graves located near there were secured with a structure made of plates forming an expansion gap between the graves and the track.