Skala Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Lesser Poland Voivodeship
Site address
From the intersection of Rzeźnicza and Postepu Streets, continue south for 66m and then turn west onto a dirt road next to the Askar warehouse. The cemetery is located at the end of this track.
GPS coordinates
50.215741, 19.845589
Perimeter length
256 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
There is a metal fence about 1.5m high.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is destroyed and overgrown. There is a monument in the cemetery dedicated to the memory of the Jews of Skała.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones have survived. During the war, the Nazis used matzevot from the cemetery to harden today's Powstańców Street.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Fence is not needed
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

The Jewish cemetery in Skała was most likely established at the turn of the 20th century (certainly before 1924) and was located south of the parish cemetery, outside the town limits. Initially, it was enclosed with a wooden fence. In the 1920s, it was surrounded by a stone wall with a gate in the south-eastern corner. There was also a funeral house. During World War II, the cemetery was the site of executions and mass executions of Jews. In 1943, by order of the Germans, the wall was pulled down, and the tombstones were used to pave Powstańców Street. After the war, the cemetery was neglected. Its area decreased, and the area of the surrounding fields increased. In 1988, thanks to the efforts of town authorities, the cemetery was fenced. A memorial commemorating the victims of the Holocaust was also erected. The fence was renovated in 2008 at the initiative of the Association for the Protection of Monuments in Skała. At that time, an information board was also placed in the cemetery, which unfortunately was already overturned in 2020. The cemetery is overgrown with a larch grove and dense bushes. The area is difficult for visitors to access.

The first records of Skała date to the 13th century. In 1257–1259, Duke Bolesław V the Chaste reassigned Skała together with the surrounding land to the seat of the convent of Poor Clares. The town was founded in 1267. The first Jews appeared settled there at the end of the 18th century, despite the still valid De Non-Tolerandis Iudaeis privilege, which was only abolished in 1862. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the local Jews belonged to the Jewish community in Olkusz. In 1897, the community accounted for 417 people (17% of the total population). The first records regarding an independent Jewish community date to 1924. In 1937, 731 Jews lived in the village. By the spring of 1941, an open ghetto was established in Skała, in which between 1,500 to 3,000 Jews were gathered. In August 1942, some of them were deported to the Słomniki Ghetto, and then to the Bełżec extermination camp. The rest were murdered in the town or in local Jewish cemetery.