KOSCIAN: Wielkopolskie Print

Coat of arms of Kościan

Alternate names: Kościan [Pol], Kosten [Ger], Kos'tsyan. 52°06' N, 16°38' E, 26 miles SSW of Poznań (Posen), 17 miles N of Leszno (Lissa). Jewish population: 271 (in 1871). Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), IV, pp. 440-444: "Kościan". This town on the Obra canal in central Poland with 21,050 inhabitants in 2004 in the Greater Poland Voivodeship (since 1999), previously was in Leszno Voivodeship (1975-1998), it is the capital of Kościan County. The German Army entered Kościan on September 7, 1939 and turned a part of the pychiatric hospital into a military hospital named  "Landesheilanstalt Kosten". Called Kosten during the occupation, 47 km from Poznan, eight persons were executed together on October  2, 1939, eighteen on October 23 , and forty-two on  November   in the market-place against the wall of the Town Hall. At the mental asylum 67 patients died from mistreatment but most were exterminated. Between the January 15 and 22, 1940, 534 patients were murdered, drugged and gassed in special car chambers at the forest near Jarogniewice. The bodies were buried in collective graves. Father Graszynski was forced to wash the blood from the stones where the victims of the executions had fallen. Many Poles also were executed. photos and details.  [June 2009]

CEMETERY: The cemetery was established in the western part of the city near the road to Białcza and currently bounded by streets Piaskowa and ul. 2 Października to the north. Before WWII, the land surrounded by a two-meter high red brick wall was approximately 0.4 hectares. During the WWII, the Nazis destroyed the cemetery, demolished the wall, and took gravestones probably for construction and road paving. Cemetery land was used for years for agriculture. Under Soviet control, the cemetery land was to be developed. The synagogue at 34 Piaskowej is remembered by locals for its main entrance and inside, the aron kodesh in the upper portion. The lower part was for the funeral chapel, now walled, that once led to the cemetery. A piece of cemetery wall remains. During WWI,I Germans shot a group of Jews and buried them in a mass grave. After liberation, they were exhumed. Families, who could identify their loved ones, moved their bodies to the cemeteries in their cities. Those not identified were probably buried in an unknown grave. A gravestone from a Cohan buried in the Jewish cemetery is now located at the Catholic cemetery on ul. Bączkowskiego. The Hebrew epitaph reads: "Monument to a man just, righteous, wise, and wise [....] our teacher and rabbi Icchak HaKohea, who died at the age of 58 years on 26 March and buried on the year 5610 [11.11.1849 ]. You were a man and a very very right dear, you were [.....] splendor of your family, ... in justice, joined to your grave in the highest ".  photos. [May 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000311

Alternate name: Kosten in German. Koscian is located in region Leszno at 52°40 16°38, 29 km from Leszno and 40 km from Pozyeny. The cemetery location is ul. Piaskowa. Present population is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Town officials are Urzad Maejski w Koscianie, ul. Kosciuszki 24, 64-000 Koscian tel. 12-14-66 and Burmister Aleksender Heller, ul. Strzelecka 13, 64-000 Koscian tel. 120-417.
  • Regional: Ewa Piesiewicz, Ponstwowa Skuzba Ochrony Zabytkow w Lesznie, ul. Mickiewicza 5, tel. 20-63-83.

The earliest Jewish community was first half of the 19th century. 1921 Conservation and Progressive/Reform Jewish population was 35 (.4%). The Jewish cemetery was established in the 19th century. Living here was A. Graetz, printer. The isolated urban flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, there is no access. New uses fenced site with no gate. The cemetery does not exist. Residential buildings occupy it. No gravestones are visible. The municipality and a private individual own site used for residential buildings. Adjacent properties are residential. The cemetery was vandalized during WWII. Within the limits is a pre-burial house. The cemetery was totally devastated while turned into a one-family housing.

Dariusz Cswojdrak, ul. Lipowa 2a/4, 67-400 Wschowa completed survey on 11/01/1991 and visited the site on 10/31/91. He interviewed Pawkowska Marisa of Koscian.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 June 2009 01:50