KLESZCZELE: Podlaskie Print

Normal 0 The first documentation of Jews in Kleszczele comes from the 17th century. In the second half of the 19th century, the synagogue was built in Kleszczelach Jewish cemetery, which is located next to the road leading to Czeremchy. Only about a dozen graves are visible. Cemetery photos [May 2009]

19TH CENTURY: used cemetery at Bocki

US Commission No. POCE000114    Map

Alternate name: Kleszczel in Yiddish. Kleszczele is located in Bialostockie (Bialostock) at 52°35' 23°19', 70 km from Bialegostoku. Cemetery location: by the road to Czeremche, 1.5 km from the town (S about 1,500 meters from bakery and adjacent to forest. Present population is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad Gminy, ul. 1 maja 10, tel. 4.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, Bialystok, Dojudy Fabr. 23, tel. 41-23-32.

Earliest known Jewish community was 17th century. 1931 Jewish population was 645. Effecting the Jewish community was 1688 privileges were given to the Jewish people. Living here was Mosze Gwin Perec Hirszbein, Poet. Jewish cemetery was established in 19th century with last Hasidic Orthodox, Conservative, or Progressive/Reform burial in 1941. The surrounding villages used this cemetery. The isolated suburban agricultural (between fields and woods), flat land on a hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with no wall or gate. The size of the cemetery before WWII was 0.6 hectares; now it is 0.25 hectares. 1-20 gravestones, less than 25% are toppled or broken, date from 1870. The slate rough stones or boulders have Hebrew inscriptions. No mass graves. There are no known mass graves. The Municipality owns property used for agriculture. Properties adjacent are commercial/industrial and agriculture. The cemetery is smaller than before WWII due to commercial development, agriculture, and after war devastation. Private visitors visit rarely. The cemetery, vandalized during and after WWII, but not in last ten years, has no maintenance or care. There are no structures. Security, erosion, and incompatible nearby development are moderate threats.

Tomasz Wisniewski, Bialystok, ul. Bema 95/99, tel. 212-46 completed survey 11 Aug 1991 and site visited in 1988. Interviews were conducted with Konstanty Leonkiewicz, Kleszczele, ul. Puszkina 1, Ksiadz Kielbanowski M., Kleszczele, Parafia Katoucka.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 22:57