Wawolnica Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Lublin Voivodeship
Site address
The cemetery is located behind No.28 Zarzeka street. Gaining access to the cemetery is difficult. Follow the grass road from No.28 Zarzeka street into the forest. On the right side there is a hill and you need to find the path between bushes leading up to the cemetery. From half way there were white bands tied on the trees that showed the way to the cemetery. At the top, between the trees, there is a plaque informing that it is the area of the Jewish cemetery.
GPS coordinates
51.295418 22.159441
Perimeter length
275,98 meters
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Unfenced Jewish cemetery
General site condition
It is an unfenced Jewish cemetery, overgrown with forest. In the cemetery, there is a monument commemorating the Jewish inhabitants of Wąwolnica and Nałęczów. Only a few fragments of matzevot sticking out of the ground have survived. A fence would help to define the boundaries of the cemetery.
Number of existing gravestones
No tombstones preserved. There are 18 damaged matzevot, which have sunk into the ground.
Date of oldest tombstone
Date of newest tombstone
Urgency of erecting a fence
Land ownership
Preserved construction on site
Drone surveys

Historical overview

Wąwolnica is a small town located approximately 30 km to the west of Lublin, its city rights were granted in the 14th century. Originally it was a royal property, and Jews were not allowed to settle therein. While individual Jews may have lived in Wąwolnica earlier it was not until the1820s that the community was established. These Jews belonged to the Kazimierz Dolny kehilla. The cemetery was built about 1.5 km north-east of the center of the town, in the suburbs of Zagóra, which today is a separate village. During the 1930’s the cemetery was enlarged with a plot on the south-western side.
During World War II, about 80 Jews executed in the town in March 1942 were buried at the cemetery. During the war, the cemetery was partially destroyed and afterwards, most of the matzevot were taken for construction purposes by the townsfolk living nearby, and the remaining matzevot were broken.
By1992, the burial part of the cemetery was covered with forest, and there was a meadow in the south-western area. In the forested part of the cemetery, only two tombs from 1855 and two toppled matzevot, a double one from 1846, and one from 1917, remained. There were also many flat tombstones with remains of inscriptions in the original location, as well as many pieces of broken tombstones. In 1993, a monument containing the matzevah from 1846, a few flat tombstones, and pieces of broken matzevot, was funded by a Jewish woman from Israel. Other major cleaning works at the cemetery were carried out in 2017, with the participation of the Matzevah Foundation from the USA, students from England, and volunteers from Poland. Many shrubs and trees were cut down, which allowed for the discovery of many flat tombstones. The south-western part of the cemetery where the mass grave from 1942 is located, was overgrown with blackthorn bushes, which precluded further work. The cemetery is located on the slope of a hill. It is shaped irregularly, like an elongated trapezoid. It is bordered on the north-west with an arable field, on the south-west with plots of land, and on the east with a forest which has overgrown the trench from 1831 and part of the cemetery. The total area of the cemetery is 0.45 hectares. As well as the memorial, two large matzevot, with one being returned at the beginning of the 21st century, and about 60 flat tombstones have survived however the area is overgrown with wild plants. The cemetery was entered into the Register of Monuments in 1997 (number: A/1113).