Wielkie Oczy Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Subcarpathian Voivodeship
Wielkie Oczy
Site address
The cemetery is located adjacent to houses No.11 & 13. The entrance faces Krakowiecka Street.
GPS coordinates
50.02122, 23.16388
Perimeter length
431 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
There is an iron fence with brick colums along Krakowiecka street, the other sides of the fence are a chain link fence.
Preservation condition
Fenced and protected Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The cemetery is well-kept.
Number of existing gravestones
131. There are 31 gravestones and fragments on the ground. Around 100 fragments were later returned and piled near the entrance.
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

Wielkie Oczy was founded in 1671 under Magdeburg law as a private town. Jews lived in the town from the moment it was founded. They were granted an area approximately 60 meters to the south of the market square, where they could build the community buildings, a synagogue and a beit midrash. In 1765, 386 Jews lived in Wielkie Oczy. In 1939, among 1,880 inhabitants, there were 560 Jews (29%). The cemetery was likely established in the late 17th century, about 300 meters to the south of the market square, on a flat area. The original area was successively enlarged, and in the second decade of the 20th century, it obtained its final area of over 0.8 hectares shaped like an elongated polygon (currently, it is 0.79 hectares). There was a building in the north-western corner of the cemetery. During World War II, executions and burials in mass graves took place at the cemetery, these are unmarked however there is a symbolic commemoration. In 1942, the tombstones were plundered by the town inhabitants and used for construction purposes. Only around 30 matzevot remained in the original location. At the beginning of the 21st century, the area of shrubbery was cleaned. Trees remained in the eastern part. A solid fence with a gate was erected on the western side. Other sides are fenced with a wire mesh. The tombstones recovered in Wielkie Oczy and the surroundings were successively returned to the cemetery. Currently, there are about 200 tombstones in the cemetery, mostly in fragments. The oldest one dates from 1759, the newest one from 1941. They are made of limestone, sandstone as well as the later 20th century ones which are made from concrete and terrazzo. There are mostly traditional stelae, and there are also examples of stelae with a horizontal block.