Zelechow Old Jewish Cemetery

Cemetery Information

Masovian Voivodeship
Site address
4, Kościuszki Street.
GPS coordinates
51.8086, 21.8971
Perimeter length
421 metres
Is the cemetery demolished
Type and height of existing fence
No fence
Preservation condition
Demolished and overbuilt Jewish cemetery
General site condition
The Old cemetery of Żelechów is situated in the central part of the town. The demolished and overbuilt former cemetery area is today a municipal park. No traces of the cemetery have been preserved, nor have any tombstones.
Number of existing gravestones
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 old Jewish cemetery in Żelechów is located approximately 70 metres southeast of the town square, between Piłsudskiego, Kościuszki, 15 Pułku Piechoty “Wilków,” and Staszica Streets. It stood directly beside the synagogue. The cemetery’s establishment date is unknown, though it was likely established in the first half of the 18th century. It was first recorded in a document by the Kraków Bshop Andrzej Stanisław Kostka Załuski from June 20, 1750, when Jews from Żelechów were forbidden from “burying their dead during daylight with undue pomp, becoming guards of the Catholic cemetery.” In 1776, tzadik Aron Hopstein of Żelechów was buried in the cemetery and an ohel was erected over his tombstone. At the beginning of the 19th century (according to various sources, between 1801 and 1802) the local government, acting on sanitation concerns, advised to Jewish community to stop using the cemetery beside the synagogue and mark out a new location beyond town limits.

The cemetery was presumably destroyed during World War II. After 1945, the synagogue was demolished, and the area was turned into park. Around 2011, the local government founded a park and erected a stone memorial commemorating the synagogue. All aboveground signs of the cemetery have vanished. The borders are unclear, and the area is not fenced. There is no information about its ownership status. The cemetery is listed in the voivodeship register of immovable monuments.

The first records of Jews in Żelechów date back to the 16th century. In around 1765, the local Rabbi was Lewi Ischak, later the Rabbi of Berdyczów. In 1840 the rabbi of the community was tzadik Jehoszua Aszer Rabinowicz. In the mid-19th century Icchak Szlomo Goldberg established a Hasidic dynasty in the town. In 1921 there were 4,016 Jewish residents in Żelechów, most of whom were killed by Germans in Treblinka in 1942. In 1944, 132 surviving Jews returned to Żelechów though they later left the city. Two of those survivors who returned to the city were killed in 1945.