Olkusz New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Lesser Poland Voivodeship
Site address
The cemetery is adjacent to No.29 Jana Kantego Street, near Ołowiana street. It is about 150m north west of “Harcówka” city park.
GPS coordinates
50.28038, 19.54579
Perimeter length
292 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
There is a concrete fence about 1.8m high. From one side it's fenced by a metal mesh fence about 1.7m high. There are also the remains of an old fence inside the cemetery boundaries.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The site is enclosed with a new concrete fence. In front of the new fence, there are the remains of the historic fence.
Number of existing gravestones
Around 200. Many tombstones have survived, however unfortunately the majority of them are damaged. Graffiti was found at the site.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
There are the remains of a building, it is likely to have been a beit tahara.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The cemetery is located about 900 metres northwest of the market square on Ołowiana Street and covers a rectangular plot with an approximate area of 0.57 hectares. The cemetery’s establishment date is unknown, though it was probably established no earlier than the mid-19th century. It was in use until the 1940s. One of the last people to be buried there was Róża Lender, who died in 1947. During World War II, the cemetery began to fall into disrepair. In 1946, the cemetery was severely devastated, and the Jewish Committee in Olkusz indicated the need to urgently repair the broken fence. In 1948, the City Council in Olkusz built a makeshift barbed wire fence. In the following years, the cemetery suffered further degradation. According to the decree on abandoned properties, the State Treasury became the owner of the cemetery. In 2010, restoration work was carried out in the cemetery. The area was cleaned up, some matzevot were placed upright, and a fence was built. There are about 200 tombstones in various conditions in the cemetery, most of which are overturned and do not mark the actual burial place. They date back to the first four decades of the 20th century. There are the ruins of the burial house next to the cemetery, and a fence made of a pre-war stone wall and prefabricated concrete slabs. The cemetery is listed in the Municipal and Provincial Register of Monuments.

The beginnings of Jewish settlement in Olkusz date back to the beginning of the 14th century. Before 1317, there were two houses inhabited by Jews in the town. 423 Jews lived in the town in 1764, 1,840 in 1897, and 2,703 in 1921 (40.6% of the total population). Most of the town’s Jews were killed by the Germans in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War II. On June 15, 1946, 22 people were registered in the Jewish Committee in Olkusz, and they gradually left the town in the following years.