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Coat of arms of Bielsko-Biała

Alternate names: Bielsko-Biała, Bielitz-Biala [Ger]; Bílsko-Bělá [Czech]. A city in southern Poland with 176,987 inhabitants in 2006, Bielsko-Biała amalgamated in 1951 two former cities on opposite banks of the Biała River, Bielsko and Biała. Situated in the Silesian Voivodeship (since 1999), the city was previously capital of Bielsko-Biała Voivodeship (1975-1998). The Jewish population was sent to Auschwitz in WWII. synagogue photo [April 2009]

US Commission AS 214

See: Dobrzany. Gmina Dobrzany. Located in Bielsko at 49°50′N 19°4′E . In 1996-1997, the cemetery was exhumed and transferred to the Jewish cemetery in Bielsko at 92 Cieszynska St. The cemetery site is now a plant for sports equipment. Approximately 200 persons were exhumed separately. Their graves are visible and can be identified. 400 others are buried in a common grave because they were hard to identify. 156 gravestones are preserved. The oldest one dates to 1866 (Karl Midelburg). Buried in the cemetery include Dr. Rabin Glaser, Dr. Chaim Halberstamm, Dr. Abraham Plessner, Dr. Samuel Reich, Dr. Josef Schmetterling, and Dr. Berisch J. Schnitzer. The last known Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial before exumation was in 1954. The marble and granite tombstones date from the 19th and 20th centuries. Inscriptions are Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish and German. Jacek Proszyk, 68 Poczt St. 43- 430 Skoczow, completed this survey on April 6, 1995. The documents concerning exhumation are in the archives of the Jewish Community of Bielsko-Biala.

The Lauder Foundation Genealogy Project has burial lists. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



Cemetery: ulica 92 Cieszynska. 1995 town population is over 100,000 with 10-100 Jews.

  • Town: President Michniowski Zbigniew, Urzad Miejski, pl. Ratuszowy 1, Bielsko-Biala 43-300, Tel 27291. Local govt.: gmina (district) Wyzaniowa Zydowska, ulica Michiewoza 26, 43-300 Bielesko-Biala, Tel. 224-38.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, Panstwowa Sluzba Ochrony Zabytkow, Odzial Wojewodzki w Bielsku-Bialej, Mgr. Karol Gruszczyk, ulica 1 Maja 8. Muzeum Okregowe, ulica Wzgorze 16, Bielsko-Biala, Tel. 25353.
  • Keyholder: Klucz Posiada gmina (district) Wyznaniowa Zydowska, Tel 22438, Oraz Pan Teodor Gemki Zamieszkaly Na Cmentarzu.
  • Caretaker: Teodor Gemki, ulica Cieszynska 92 (Cmentarz), 43-300 Bielsko-Biala.

The first mention of Jews in Bielsko was 1653. In 1828, the branch of Cieszyn Kahal was established that became independent in 1865. Noteworthy historical events: The Tolerance Act issued by Maria Theresa in 1752; permission for the second market day on Wednesday (before it was only Saturday) issued by Kaiser Franz Joseph I in 1819; the Tolerance Act by Kaiser Joseph II issued in 1789; the Constitution of 1849 giving equal rights to all citizens of Austria. Living here were Dr. Lazar Frankfurter, Dr. Wolf Lesser, Dr. Adolf Kurrein, Dr. Saul Horowitz, Dr. Markus Steiner, Dr. Izrael Lewentow-Oraz, Salomon Salman Chaim Halberstam (1832-1900), Dr. Maurycy Aransohn, Dr. Prof. Michael Berkowitz, Architect Karol Korn, Hermann Zwi Guttman, Juliusz and Oskar Deutsch, Zygmunt Arzt, Jakub Grunstein, Henryk Luft-Lotar, and Zygmunt Glucksmann. Buried here were Dr. Lazar Frankfurter, Dr. Wolf Lesser, Dr. Siegmund Gross Oraz, Prof. Michael Berkowitz, Dr. Maurycy Aronsohn, Dr. Maurycy Heilpern, Dr. Edward Feuerstein, Zygmunt Arzt, Dr. Gustaw Baum, Dr. Leon Zitri, Dr. Edmund Kuhnberg, Salomon Wechsberg (President of the Chevra Kadisha), Ip Feiler, Adolf Wachtel, and Architect Karol Korn. The Jewish population before WW II was more than 5,000. The cemetery was established in 1849 with last known Conservative or Progressive/Reform Jewish burial in 1994. The towns of Ywiec, Jasienica, Jaworze, Aleksandrowice and Dziedzice used the landmarked cemetery: Register of Monuments NR A-582/88. The urban flat land, separate but near other cemeteries, has a sign in Polish mentioning the Jewish Community. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all via a continuous masonry wall and a locked gate. Approximate size of cemetery is 2.39 hectares. 500-5000 gravestones in the cemetery, about 1100 in original location and 50%-75% toppled or broken, date from the 19th and 20th centuries. There are separate sections for children and soldiers. The oldest gravestone is from 1849 (Joseph son of Mordechai Neuman.) The marble, granite, limestone, sandstone, slate or iron flat shaped stones with carved relief decoration, double tombstones, sculpted monuments or multi- stone monuments have Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish and German inscriptions. Some tombstones have traces of painting on their surfaces, iron decorations or lettering and/or metal fences around graves. The cemetery contains special memorial monuments to Holocaust victims and Jewish soldiers. There are no known mass graves. Remains exhumed from Biala are in Section G. Municipality owns site is used for Jewish cemetery only. Properties adjacent are residential. Frequently, organized individual tours, private visitors and local residents visit. The cemetery was vandalized in WW II and not in the last ten years. The Jewish Community of Bielsko-Biala re-erected stones, patched broken stones, cleaned stones, cleared vegetation and fixed the wall. There is a regular unpaid caretaker. A pre-burial house has a polychrome ceiling. Vandalism is a moderate threat; security, weather erosion, pollution, vegetation, and incompatible nearby development are slight threats.

Jacek Proszyk 68 Poczt St., 43-430 Skoczow visited site and completed the survey in 1995. Documentation: "Materialy Do Dziejow Zydow w Bielsku, Panstwie Bielskim (Do 1780 Roku)" by Janusz Spyra, and "Zydzi w Bielsku w Latach 1918-1939" by Wojciech Jaworski.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 April 2009 19:25
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