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Coat of arms of Kęty

Alternate names: Kęty [Pol], Kenti [Yid], Kenty, קאנטי-Hebrew. 49°53' N, 19°14' E, 33 miles WSW of Kraków, 10 miles ENE of Bielsko-Biała. 1900 Jewish population was about 300. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), IV, pp. 6-8: "Kęty". Located in a new administrative division in Malopolskie Province in the Oswiecimski district, 19 km from Oswiecim and 70 km from Krakow. The 2002 town population is 19,461 with no Jews. The 1921 Jewish population was 329. This town in Oświęcim County, Lesser Poland Voivodeship had 19,175 inhabitants in 2004. The town;s first documentation was 1277 when Polish prince of Opole Władysław confirmed the sale of the settlement and adoption of Lviv city privilege. The town's name comes from the word Kąt (Polish for corner). The greatest development of the town came under the rule of Jagiellons when the town became royal property. Nowa Wieś was the site of a ghetto organized in November 1940, where the Jews from Kęty and the surrounding area were incarcerated. After the ghetto was liquidated, its inhabitants were transported to concentration camps. [May 2009]

CEMETERY: Kęty's Jewish Cemetery was established in the second half of the 19th century outside the city on Góry Północne near the village of Vítkovice. The area, still approximately 0.2 hectares, holds dozens of graves or their parts. The cemetery was heavily damaged in WW II; and the devastation lasted after liberation. In 1988, Henry Känner visited the cemetery. The American businessman lived in Kety for his first twelve years of  life and miraculously survived the concentration camps in Auschwitz and Mauthausen. Robert Leiter published an article in "Focus" describing Känner's impression with his first visit to the cemetery: "The area looked like a battlefield. The surrounding stone wall ... to cover the rusty iron gate. You can hardly see any graves, overgrown with weeds ". Känner hads no loved ones buried here, but decided that this place would restored. On his initiative, the cemetery site was cleared. Choking vegetation was cut. Fallen gravestones were reset. Matzevot fragments were attached to the wall. In the center of a small monument with a menorah was erected. The fence was repaired. Assisting Känner were Father Ryszard Honkisza, a priest, and his brother Zbigniew and Barbary and Szymon Zina, architects. Today, Kętach Cemetery is one of the best preserved Jewish cemeteries in Telephone number of  the person holding the keys to the cemetery gate: 0601 973 193. photos.  [May 2009]

Menachem Ramer, Israel at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it may have information. Rabbi Eliyaju ben Yehoshua Pinchas Bomback was rabbi until 1921. Rabbi Avraham ben Yehosua Pinchas Bombach was rabbi from 1921 until his murder in WWII.The isolated urban location on flat land has a sign in Polish mentioning the Holocaust and the Jewish community. Reached by turning directly off a public road, the site is open with permission and surrounded by a continuous masonry wall and a gate that locks. The pre and post WWII size is about 600 sq m. 20-100 nineteenth century tombstones are in the cemetery. The marble, granite, and limestone tombstones have Yiddish and Hebrew inscriptions. The cemetery contains a Holocaust memorial. The site is used only as a Jewish cemetery now. Adjacent properties are residential and commercial/industrial across the street. Occasionally, private visitors stop. Water drainage and vegetation are not a problem. Care: Stone have been re-erected, cleaned, and patched. Vegetation has been cleared. The wall and gate have been repaired. No vandalism. A regular caretaker is available. A pre-burial house is on the site. The site was visited in July 2004. Sefer Kehilot (Khila no. 9419) was used as a reference. The person who visited the site wishes to remain anonymous. [May 2005]

Last Updated on Monday, 01 June 2009 20:14
 
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