Siemiatycze New Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Podlaskie Voivodeship
Site address
The Jewish cemetery in Siemiatycze is located between Polna and Kościuszki Streets. It covers an area of 2 hectares. Cadastral parcel no. 201001_1.0001.634/3
GPS coordinates
53.22580, 21.869395
Perimeter length
626 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
It is partly fenced by an old masonry wall (about 1 m high) and by a wire mesh fence (about 1.6m high). There is also an original gate made of brick (about 3m high). The western border of the cemetery, which is adjacent to, amongst others, a vehicle service station, is not fenced. There are only bare poles, the remains of a metal mesh fence.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
It is a partially fenced and protected Jewish cemetery. The area near to the main gate, where the monument and lapidarium are, is well-maintained - the area is felled and the grass mown. No litter was found there. The other part is overgrown (mostly with dense and high nettles), covered with forest. Near to the western border, from the side of the vehicle service station, the terrain is littered and also used as a toilet. On the northern and eastern sides, at Polna Street, the original wall with a red brick gate has been preserved.
Number of existing gravestones
57 tombstones (in whole or in fragments) were located. All these preserved tombstones are gathered in the lapidarium near the gate of the cemetery.
Date of oldest tombstone
1862 (source:
Date of newest tombstone
1934 (source:
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The cemetery was expanded over the years and its final area was approximately 3 hectares. It was fenced with a concrete and brick wall in the interwar period, with a red brick gate. A large part of the fence has been preserved until now. During World War II, the Germans took the matzevot for utility purposes. Local residents continued to steal the tombstones after the war, and none have survived in their original location. During the war, victims of executions from the town, including victims of a mass execution of 70 people, were buried in the cemetery. The area of the Jewish cemetery, covered with pine trees, is located between Kościuszki Street (on the west) and Polna Street (on the north and east). In the 1970s, the buildings of the Polish Motorcycle Association were erected in the western part of the cemetery. In 2017, behind the buildings a part of the cemetery was liquidated, by removing a layer of earth which was about 2 metres deep with human remains. Bones continued to fall out of the escarpment on the part of the cemetery which borders a parking lot. In 2007, a commemorative plaque was placed in the cemetery on the site of the mass grave, and matzevot recovered from the town were placed around it.

The village of Siemiatycze was first mentioned in the 15th century. In 1542, Siemiatycze received town rights from King Sigismund Augustus. The town was largely destroyed during the wars of the mid-17th century. Siemiatycze developed during the times of Anna Jabłonowska in the second half of the 18th century. In 1878, there were 4,634 inhabitants in the town, about 78% of whom were Jews, and 8,138 in 1939, 53% of whom were Jews. The first Jews settled in the town towards the end of the 16th century, though the Jewish community was only formed at the end of the 17th century and was part of the kehilla in Tykocin for many years. It did not become independent until 1730. In 1878, 3,600 Jews lived in Siemiatyczne, and 4,303 in 1939. In July 1941, Siemiatycze was occupied by the Germans, who established a ghetto there in August. The ghetto was liquidated in stages from September to November 1942. The Jews were deported to the extermination camp in Treblinka. A few Jews returned to the town after the war, but soon, due to a hostile atmosphere, they left Siemiatycze.