Wielkie Oczy Jewish Cemetery
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.