Ostroleka Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Masovian Voivodeship
Site address
The area of the demolished Jewish cemetery is situated among Janusza Korczaka, Stefana Jaracza and Poznańska Streets. 32, Poznańska Street, is located in the north-eastern corner of the former cemetery area.
GPS coordinates
53.0743049, 21.5681362
Perimeter length
669 metres.
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
No fenced.
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The former Jewish cemetery of Ostrołęka is situated in an urban area. The site is demolished and has been overbuilt by Janusza Korczaka Street, a sports field and private residential houses. No traces of the cemetery have been preserved and there are no tombstones. A Lapidarium memorial at No.34/36 Poznańska Street, is situated outside the cemetery area.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones have been preserved in situ. 26 fragments of tombstones are embedded into the Lapidarium.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
1929, 1930
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Memorial Stelae memorial, unveiled in 1991, with a memorial plaque and fragments of tombstones. Next to the stelae there is a small square concrete lapidarium with small fragments of tombstones, embedded in it, and a memorial plaque, placed on a brick pedestal.
Drone surveys

Historical overview

Jewish settlement in Ostrołęka began to develop in the first years of the 19th century. 4,564 Jews lived in the town in 1897 (57.3% of the total population), and 3,352 in 1921 (36.6%). In October 1939, the Germans expelled the Jews from Ostrołęka. A significant number of them managed to get to Soviet Union-occupied territories, and the rest were exterminated in the ghettos in Vilnius and Słonim. The cemetery is located about 1.1 km south of the city centre, near Stefczyka, Kędzierskiego, Korczaka, Poznańska, Jaracza, and 6 Września Streets.

It was likely established around 1822 when the synagogue supervision in Ostrołęka received funding, but the exact date remains unknown. The cemetery served as the burial place for Jews from Ostrołęka and the surrounding villages, including Andrzejewo Czarnów, Czerwin, Kaczyna, and Wólka Brzezińska. Before World War II, the cemetery’s area of approximately 3.6 hectares was fenced with a wall, and partially covered with trees.

After 1939, the cemetery was partially destroyed, and continued to degrade after 1945. The area was gradually built over. In the northern part, an estate of single-family houses was built. Korczaka Street was built through the cemetery. A school and a complex of childcare institutions were also built in the southern part of the cemetery. The boundaries and above-ground traces of the cemetery have vanished.

In 1989, at the initiative of Jews from Ostrołęka, a commemorative plaque was unveiled at Poznańska Street. In 1991, a monument, to which fragments of matzevot were attached, was erected. In 2004, the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland applied to regain ownership of the cemetery grounds. The procedure was unsuccessful. Between 2008 and 2009, during the reconstruction of Korczaka, the graves were compromised. In 2010, the bones dug up during the construction work were reburied next to the monument at Poznańska Street. The cemetery is listed in the Provincial Register of Monuments.

Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery
Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery
Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery
Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery
Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery
Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery
Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery
Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery
Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery
Ostrołęka Jewish Cemetery