Zareby Koscielne New Jewish Cemetery
According to historical sources, there are two Jewish cemeteries in Zaręby. The first was located two blocks from the market square between Kowalska and Czyżewska Street. Unfortunately, there is no further information about the area and fate of the cemetery. It was likely established in the mid-17th century together with the school, or perhaps even earlier. In the memorial book, Shavke Fridman mentions that the cemetery was covered with another layer of soil in 1681. In the place of the former cemetery, there is now a police station.
The second Jewish cemetery was likely founded in the first half of the 19th century. It was located further east of the market square, on the road to Grabów. It covered an area of approximately 1.7 hectares. The cemetery was likely destroyed during World War II and was later closed for burial purposes in 1961. Currently, a small grove and farmland are located there. There is no sign of the previous function of the area. Small hills in the cemetery may be traces of graves. No tombstones have survived.
Zaręby was first historically mentioned in 1410 and was later granted German location rights by Bolesław IV in 1448. The first mention of Jewish settlement only appeared in 1638. In 1680, there was a Jewish school and a place for a cemetery was designated. In 1732, the settlement was granted town rights. In 1764, 25 Jewish families lived there (about 125 people). In 1862, a line of the St. Petersburg-Warsaw railway was built nearby, which contributed to the economic revival of the town. At the end of the 19th century, Jews constituted 31.7% of the town’s population (1,959 people).
As a result of artillery fire, the area around the market square was burnt, and some inhabitants were sent further into the Russian Empire during World War I. In 1939, Jews constituted 88% of the population. During World War II, almost 70% of the town’s buildings were partially destroyed (bombs also fell on the Jewish quarter). On September 28, 1941, the Jews were expelled to the ghetto in Czyżewo, yet while on the way, most of them (about 2,000 people) were shot by the Germans in the anti-tank pit in the forests near Mianówek. Today there is a monument at the site of the murder.