Otwock Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Masovian Voivodeship
Karczew (Mazowiecki Landscape Park)
Site address
After the intersection of Czerwona Droga and Ciepłownicza Streets, continue east through the forest for 315m until the crossroads. Take a left turn and continue east for 200m. The cemetery is situated in a forest area along the southern side of the road.
GPS coordinates
52.0838048, 21.2722778
Perimeter length
535 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
Heavy single rocks mark the cemetery boundaries.
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The Jewish cemetery of Otwock (adm. Karczew) is situated in a forest area on the eastern outskirts of Karczew. The boundaries of the cemetery are marked with single rocks. The area is under the maintenance of the Committee for the Remembrance of Otwock & Karczew’s Jews. A power line passes through the cemetery area. Around 1000 tombstones have been preserved.
Number of existing gravestones
900. More than 900 tombstones have been preserved, including 500+ standing intact. Inscriptions on some tombstones have been renewed with black paint.
Date of oldest tombstone
1911, 1916
Date of newest tombstone
1940, 1957
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The Otwock Jewish cemetery is located in Karczew, on Anielin farm, near Czerwona Droga Street, within the geodesic plot no. 14 with an area of approximately 1.7 hectares. The cemetery was likely established around 1908 and served as the burial place for Jews from Otwock as well as patients from local hospitals and sanatoriums. The cemetery was still active after World War II. Fajwel Felder was buried there in 1947, and Abram Miński in 1950. Victims of the Holocaust were exhumed from their previous burial places and re-buried in this cemetery.

The cemetery was devasted during World War II. The tombstones were used for construction material, grinding discs, and paving slabs. The graves were plundered while searching for bones and skulls for medical students. Since 2002, at the initiative of the Committee for the Remembrance of the Jews of Otwock and Karczew, regular cleaning work is carried out in the cemetery. Thanks to the involvement of the residents of the Ministry of Health’s “Angel” Rehabilitation Center and the Baptists from the United States, the boundaries of the cemetery were marked with granite boulders. There are over 1,200 tombstones in the cemetery, most of which are damaged and displaced. The area is covered with forest and unfenced. The owner of the cemetery is the Jewish Community in Warsaw. The list of preserved tombstones is available at https://cemetery.jewish.org.pl/otwock/. The cemetery is listed in the Register of Immovable Monuments of the Masovian Voivodeship (entry No. 1407, 02/02/1991).

Jewish began to settle in Otwock at the end of the 19th century. The development of the local Jewish community was closely related to the development of the city as a health resort. In 1932, 10,019 Jews lived in the city (68.2% of the entire population), most of whom were murdered by the Germans in Treblinka in August 1942. After the war, the Jewish Committee and the Dawid Guzik Jewish Orphanage were established in Otwock. Currently, there is a holiday centre of the Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland in the city.