Pultusk Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Masovian Voivodeship
Site address
18, Jana Pawła II Street.
GPS coordinates
52.699062, 21.078455
Perimeter length
796 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
The majority of the cemetery is overbuilt, but the area of the cemetery memorial is fenced with an iron fence with brick posts (1.5m high)
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The demolished Jewish cemetery of Pułtusk is now overbuilt with properties in industrial (ETI Polam factory) and residential use. A small part of the former cemetery site is fenced as a memorial on the initiative of the Pułtusk Academy of Humanities. A square lapidarium with pieces of tombstones and a memorial plaque was installed in 2012.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones have been preserved in situ. 64 fragments of matzevot were embedded into the lapidarium.
Date of oldest tombstone
1892, 1897 (fragments in the lapidarium)
Date of newest tombstone
1931, 1934 (fragments in the lapidarium)
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

Jewish settlement in Pułtusk began after 1808. In 1921, 5,919 Jews lived in the town, accounting for 43.8% of the town’s population. In September 1939, the Germans deported all the Jews in Pułtusk to Warsaw and to the territories occupied by the Soviet Union. Most of the Jews who stayed in Poland were murdered by the Germans in the following years.

The cemetery is located about 1.1 km southwest of the market square, on Jana Pawła II Street. The cemetery was established in the 1820’s, on land donated to the Jewish community by Zelman Lubranitzer. The gradual deterioration of the cemetery began during World War II when some matzevot were used by the Germans for construction purposes. A caretaker was working at the cemetery until at least 1956. In the spring of 1956, a part of the cemetery plot was plowed by Feliks P. In 1957, the Presidium of the Poviat National Council in Pułtusk applied for the closure of the cemetery (measuring 1.9159 hectares), and, in 1960, for its closure and liquidation. The justification stated:

“The cemetery has been closed since 1940. […] The area is abandoned and unpreserved. Traces of the graves are almost invisible. In the plan for the city development […] the are is intended for housing construction, and the eastern part to arrange green belt.”

The decree for its closure and liquidation was signed by the Minister of Municipal Economy in 1963. In the following years, the “Polam-Pułtusk” factory was built on the cemetery. Any above-ground traces of the cemetery have disappeared or are invisible. Until the second decade of the 21st century, the few tombstones that were found were stored in the Regional Museum in Pułtusk and the State Archives in Pułtusk. In 2012, at the initiative of Akademia Humanistyczna im. A. Gieysztora, a monument made of matzevot fragments was unveiled in the undeveloped part of the cemetery (which has an area of about 2 acres). The owners of the cemetery are the State Treasury and Akademia Humanistyczna im. A. Gieysztora. The facility is listed in the Provincial Register of Monuments. A partial list of preserved tombstones is available at https://sztetl.org.pl/pl/miejscowosci/p/599-pultusk/115-pamiec-w-kamieniu/29899-cięcz-zydowski-w-pultusku-ul-jana- pawla-ii-18.