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Coat of arms of JózefówAlternate names: Józefów [Pol], Yuzefuv [Rus], Yozefov [Yid], Józefów Biłgorajski, Józefów Ordynacki, Yuzefov Ardinatzki, Józefów Roztoczański, Russian: Юзефув. יוזעפֿוף-Yiddish. 50°28' N, 23°02' E. Two major towns named Józefów are in Poland. This one is 16 miles ESE of Biłgoraj, 17 miles W of Tomaszów Lubelski and NOT Józefów nad Wisłą, near Puławy. Jewish population: 656 (in 1867), 1,056 (in 1921). Yizkors: Pinkas ha-kehilot; entsiklopediya shel ha-yishuvim le-min hivasdam ve-ad le-aher shoat milhemet ha-olam ha-sheniya: Poland vol. 7: Kielce and Lublin (Jerusalem, 1999) and Sefer zikaron le-kehilat Jozefow ve-le-kedosheha (Tel Aviv, 1975). Yizkor [September 2012]

This town in Biłgoraj County, Lublin Voivodeship, Poland, with 2,436 inhabitants inn 2006 was the site of a WWII massacre.  Jewish settlement in Józefow began in the first half of the 18th century. For many years, Jews were the vast majority of the village residents. In the 19th century, Józefów was a "small town, completely wooden in a sandy area, same as full Jews." 1921 census: 1,050 (78.1%). The 18th century Baroque synagogue and the cemetery are all that remain of those Jews. Established in the mid-18th century and located in the present ul. Jews from Suśca, Majdanu Sopot, Aleksandrow, and Ciotuszy also used Ogrodowej, the cemetery. Almost four hundred gravestones survive. Andrzej Trzcinski's  book: Traces of Historic Buildings in the Lublin Jewish Culture says that this cemetery has one of the largest number of gravestones remaining in a cemetery and that the oldest dates from 1762. The decoration of the matzevot is archaic, natural relief. The last burial took place in 1943. During WWII, roundups, deportations and the mass killing of Jews were common. Here, the nealyr 1,800 Jews residing in Józefów in 1942 were almost all murdered in a single day. On July 13, 1942, a unit from a German reserve police battalion arrived from nearby Biłgoraj. In sixteen hours with 482 men (12 of whom did not take part),  the police unit killed approximately 1,500 Jews and sent three hundred able-bodied men to a workcamp. The sick were shot in the bedswhere  they lay , infants were torn from the hands that held them and murdered, the elderly, women and children were dragged from their homes and taken to the marketplace. Shooting squads were established; and eachexecutioner was paired with a victim. The policemen would then march the Jew back into the woods where the Jew would be forced to lie down and was subsequently shot in the back of the head. At the end of the night the German police officers returned to their housing in Biłgoraj leaving the bodies of nearly 1,500 Jews behind unburied in the woods.  [May 2009]

"I have started to work on cleaning the cemetery of Jozefow Bilgorai. About 1.5 mile west of town is a mass grave south to the road inside the forest. On 13 July 1942, 1500 of the Jews were killed and buried in there. Mr. Avni will return to the town to work on the cemetery in late March 2001." Source: Yossy Avni This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [February 2001]

"We discovered a cemetery established in 1561, high on a hill and not restored but in surpassingly good condition. It is protected and cared for the local population and surrounded by forests and farm areas." Source: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;  [February 1998]

US Commission No. AS 135 photos.
Alternate name: Jozefow Ordynacki, Jozefow is located in Zamosc at 50º29 N 23º04 W, 38 km SW from Zamosc. The cemetery at 29 Ogrodowa St., and then across this plot to the left. Present town population is 1,000-5,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Gminy.
  • Local: Urzad Wojewodzki, Zamosc, ul Partyzantow 3; and Sejmik Samorzadowy Wojewodztwa Samosc, ul Partyzantow 3; tel. 31 34.
  • Regional: Panstwowa Sluzba Ochrony Zabytkow, Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, Zamosc ul. Staszica 29, 71. Regionalny Osrodek Studiow i Ochrony Krajobrazu, Kulturowego Lublin ul Archidiakonska 4, 73 62 24.Urzad Wojewodzki- Wydzial Geodezji, Kartografii i Gospodarki Gruntami Zamosc, ul Przemyslowa 4, tel. 26 57. State Archive for Voidvodship, Lublin, 4 Przemyslowa St.

The earliest known Jewish community was 1725. 1921 Jewish population was 1050. Jewish population notified [sic] since very beginning of town in mid-18th century; majority of population have been Jewish. In 1824-41, Jewish paint-house [sic] of Mr. Waxman, Jewish community in Jozefow possessed a sandstone quarry located behind the cemetery. In second half of 19th cent. Hasidic influences appeared. Rabbi B. Hercensztok lived there around 1920 and Szmon Panczewski about 1927.

The cemetery was established after 1725 with last known burial 1943. In the beginning of the 20th century, Nowin (9 km away), Susiec, Majdan Sopocki (13 km), Aleksandrow Dlugi Kat (6 km) and Ciotusza (10 km) used this landmarked cemetery. The isolated rural, flat land has a sign in Polish, mentioning landmarking. Reached by crossing private property, access is open to all with a broken fence, but no gate. Its size is.74 ha. 100-500 stones, with 20-100 in the original location and 50 to 75% toppled or broken, date from 1762-20th century. Stones removed were incorporated into roads or structures around the town. The cemetery was divided into special sections for men and women.

The sandstone, finely smoothed an inscribed stones, or flat stones with carved relief decoration, some with traces of painting on their surfaces, have Hebrew inscriptions. No known mass graves. Municipality owns site used for cemetery only. Properties adjacent are agricultural. Rarely, private visitors stop. The cemetery was vandalized during and after WW II. There is no maintenance or structures. Threats: Security and vegetation is a very serious threats. Quickly emerging bush cover most parts of the cemetery causing damage. Need immediate deterrent.

Malgorzata Radolowicz-Buzikiewicz, Florianska 37/3, 31/019 Krakow, phone (0- 12) 215748 completed survey in Sept. 27, 1995 using PSOZ (State Preservation Authority conservation officer for Zamosc cemetery record chart. Slawomir Parfianowicz visited August 25, 1995. Officers at the Preservation Authority and residents of housing nearby were interviewed.

REFERENCE: They Lived Among Us: Polish Judaica, a travel brochure: Arline Sachs, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it extracted names of townstaht supposedly having Jewish cemeteries. These generally have names only; sometimes a description of famous people who lived there, but no page number.)

REFERENCE: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 47-48

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 September 2012 15:25
 
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