Alternate names: Błonie [Pol], Bloyna [Yid], Russian: Блоне. בלוניה-Hebrew. 52°12' N, 20°37' E, 7 miles WSW of Warszawa. 1900 Jewish population: 1,027. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), I, pp. 249-251: "Błonie" #1. town photos. . Jews lived here probably in the fifteenth century since in 1507 they were listed in tax records although for years the city was closed to Jewish settlement. Only after 1862 could Jews freely acquire real estate in the city. 1875 Jewish population was 1,027 with most engaged in trade and crafts. Some Błońskich Jews participated in the January Uprising in 1863. Jewish population grew rapidly despite widespread emigration in the first years of the twentieth century, 1921 Jewish population: 1,262. The Encyclopedia of Jewish Life Before and During the Holocaust describes the fate of the Jews from Błonia during World War II: "When the Germans occupied at the beginning of September 1939, Jews were put to forced labor. At the end of 1939, 600 persons were deported here from other places including Aleksandrów Kujawski, Lodz, and Iłowa. A ghetto Judenrat was formed from the autumn of 1940 and liquidated in February 1941 when they all were deported to Warsaw and from there to the Treblinka death camp." [April 2009]
CEMETERY: cemetery photos. Founded in the 19th century and destroyed by the Nazis, the cemetery was landmarked in 1989, but is overgrown. Only a few poles of the old cemetery gates, matzevot, and fragements remain. Outlines of graves can be seen. In summer 1940, several Jewish Polish soldiers killed during the September campaign were buried. The landmarked cemetery lacks a fence. Incompatible nearby residential construction threatens. A few gravestones were used as the foundations of a house.
Located on Polna ulica. 2006 total town population was 12,200 with no Jews.
The earliest known Jewish community in town dates from the 15th century, but during several centuries after were not allowed to live in the town. Officially, they received permission in 1810. The Jewish population in 1928 was 1600 Jews out of a total of 6400 residents; in 1939, Jews constituted 35-40% of total population (8700 inhabitants). They represented 90% of trade and craftsmanship, mostly shoemakers, tailors, but also doctors and pharmacist. In 1870, the Jewish community established association, Talmud-Tojre, to support poor Jewish children that founded a school on Traugutta street; the building survived the war but no memorial plaque exists. In 1908 , Jews established a second association, Linas-Hacedek, to help poor Jews. From 1903, the Zionist organization "Hatikvah" operated in the town and organized a Jewish library and school. Jews had also their sport club "Jordan". 3rd September 1939 entering of German forces gathered over 150 Jews in the Matches Factory (15 Grodziska street) and executed them several days later. Germans poured the gas on the bodies of the dead and burnt them. Somewhere is a mass grave of these victims, maybe in the Jewish cemetery, maybe in the Factory area. In autumn 1941 the ghetto was created and liquidated in 1942. Most of Jews were sent to Warsaw ghetto and to Auchshwitz or Majdanek. Very known Catholic Jozef Barcz saved one Jewish women. He hid her in his home. When Germans started to control houses, each night Barcz carried the Jewish woman in a sack on his back to hide her in a whole dug in the bins area near the City Council. Her memories are available in Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Noteworthy individuals who lived in this Jewish community: Lipshic family.
The landmarked, Orthodox Jewish cemetery was established in 1885, but the book "Blonie on Old Photos" mentions that in the 1990s someone from Jewish Historical Institute found one matzeva from 16th century. Radzikow and Brwinow also used this cemetery. The one-hectare urban site on flat land by water had a plaque several decades ago that mentioned only "Jewish Cemetery" and a symbol of national monuments registry). Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall, fence, or gate. About 20 to 100 twentieth century gravestones are visible with a few not in original location with 25% - 50% damaged or toppled. Vegetation overgrowth in the cemetery is a constant problem, damaging stones. Water drainage at the cemetery is good all year round. The oldest stone that can be seen now is dated 1904. The limestone flat shaped stones or flat stones with carved relief decoration have Hebrew inscriptions. No known mass graves. Properties adjacent to cemetery are residential.
Size compared to 1939 is not known exactly. The cemetery is visited rarely by private Jewish and non-Jewish residents and locals. The cemetery was vandalized during World War II and between 1945 and 1981. Care is clearing vegetation by local non-Jewish resident, unpaid caretaker. Restoration work was carried out in Summer 2005 and Spring 2006. Vandalism since seems to be caused by children playing. Two pieces of one matzeva were broken between restorations. There is maybe a kind of monument or maybe this is a remnant of a ohel wall or some other building. Security and vegetation are very severe threats. With no fence and no sign and houses very close to the cemetery, children playing are unaware of the significance of the site. Vandalism is a serious threat due to incompatible nearby residential development, the nearest house being about 50 metres from the cemetery. Very soon, new houses will rise on the other side of Polna street (very small and narrow street), just opposite the cemetery, so the unfenced cemetery with very easy access for everyone and no place for children to play so they use a cemetery to play.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2009 00:02|