BODZENTYN: Kielce Print

Coat of arms of Bodzentyn Alternate names: Bodzentyn, Bodjentin, Bodzentin, 50°57' N, 20°58' E, about 30 km. from Kielce. 1900 Jewish population: 1,472. A town in Kielce County, Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship with 2004 population of 2,271. Gmina Bodzentyn is an urban-rural gmina (administrative district) in Kielce County with seat in the town of Bodzentyn. 2006 total gmina population of 11,677 (town of Bodzentyn amounts to 2,241).It is known for a unique version of kapusta that includes sheep intestine and kohlrabi. Gmina Bodzentyn also contains the villages and settlements of Celiny, Dąbrowa Dolna, Dąbrowa Górna, Hucisko, Kamieniec, Kamienna Góra, Leśna, Orzechówka, Podgórze, Podkonarze, Podmielowiec, Psary-Kąty, Psary-Podłazy, Psary-Stara Wieś, Ściegnia, Siekierno, Sieradowice Drugie, Sieradowice Pierwsze, Śniadka Druga, Śniadka Parcele, Śniadka Pierwsza, Śniadka Trzecia, Święta Katarzyna, Wiącka, Wilków, Wola Szczygiełkowa, Wzdół Rządowy and Wzdół-Kolonia. [April 2009]

CEMETERY: The Germans used some of the tombstones to pave around the church in Bodzentyn. At the cemetery, some broken gravestones have been laid directly on the ground. One of the gravestones was used to repair one of the corners of the church. Excellent Jewish history and photos website that has information about the cemetery restoration and a video. The Jewish Cemetery had been cleaned at least once by school children from Bodzentyn and Warsaw. Also a Polish man tried occasionally to clear the way for those wishing to enter the site. From Spring 2008, the local parish priest and the local council made it their business to work on the grounds regularly. According to the arrangements made, shrubbery, bushes, and trees will be cleared in the 0.23 ha site in September 2009. To assist in this project, see the website. Possibly of assistance may be the Katowice Jewish Community (Spoeczno ydowska), ul. Myska 13, Katowice. Telephone: 48-32 253 77 42 [April 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000270

The cemetery is located on a hillside called "Gora Miejsica" in Kielce region at 50°53 N / 20°54 E. 1991 population: 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Wgt. Gminy Bodzentyn, ulica Suchedniowska 3, 26-010 Bodzentyn, tel. 104.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, ulica IX Wiekow Kielc 3, 25-955 Kielce, tel. 45634.
  • Interested: Adam Penkalla (see below).

The earliest known Jewish community dates from possibly 1850 but definitely from 1876. 1921 Jewish population was 934, about 2%. The cemetery was established in 1866 or 1867. The last Conservative Jewish burial was in 1942. Other towns used this site. The cemetery is landmarked by Wojewodzki Konserwator Zdbythow in Kielcach. This isolated, suburban hillside with no sign, marker, fence, or wall is reached by crossing private agricultural property and is open to all. The cemetery before WWII was 1-2 ha. but now is about 1 hectares. 20 to 100 gravestones are visible in original locations with 50% to 75% toppled or broken. The 1870 to 19th century flat sandstones with carved relief decoration have inscriptions in Hebrew and Yiddish. Vegetation is a constant problem preventing access, disturbing stone and graves. Municipality owns property used only as a Jewish cemetery. Adjacent properties are agricultural. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Security and weather erosion are slight threats. No other threats. Adam Penkalla, ulica Gagarina 9/24, Radom, tel 48 - 366 35 34 completed survey and visited site on August 28-29, 1991.

UPDATE: I went here to find family vital records and was introduced to a very elderly (non-Jewish) man, who had made a study of the former Jewish community. He told us of a Jewish cemetery. By car, we went to the outskirts of this very poor town to an area where new homes are being built. Nearby was a very steep hill that we climbed. The area was untouched. We wound our way through trees, weeds, grass over our knees, and stumps and brambles. Beautiful wildflowers and wild raspberries covered the area. Much to my amazement, we were shown an old undisturbed Jewish cemetery containing 81 unmolested tombstones. Many of the stones were illegible but others could be read. Most were still standing. The area would have to be cleared of 50 years of natural growth in order to document this cemetery. It covered an area of perhaps 4 acres; and the view from the top of this hill was extraordinary. Perhaps, the cemetery survived because of its isolated location. Now that housing is going up to the base of the hill, how long will it survive? Source: Betty Starkman; e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [Feb. 1998]