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Coat of arms of ?om?a Alternate names: ?om?a [Pol], Lomzhe, ?????? [Yid], Lomzha, ????? [Rus]. 53°11' N, 22°05' E, Capital of ?om?a gubernia, 1867-1918. 1900 Jewish population: 8,752. Yizkors: Sefer zikaron le-kehilat Lomza (Tel Aviv, 1952). Lomzhe; ir oyfkum un untergang (New York, 1957). Lomze: moment un zikhroyn (New York, 1946). ShtetLink. ?om?a is a town in NE Poland, 90 miles (150 km) from Warsaw and 50 miles (81 km) from Bia?ystok on the Narew river and has been in the Podlaskie Voivodeship since 1999, previously the capital of the Lomza Voivodeship (1975-1998). Capital of ?om?a powiat,. ?om?a is the principal economic, educational and cultural center in NE Masovia and one of the three main cities of Podlaskie Voivodeship (Bia?ystok and Suwa?ki). Before 1830, Jews were exiled from Lomza and buried their dead in Sniadowo. [June 2009]

A 13th century Royal Decree granted Jews the right to settle in Poland. The first official documentation of Jews in Lomza dates from 1494. In 1556, the Jews were expelled. While some returned in the next decades, they again were expelled in 1598. Not until the 18th century did Jews obtain permission to trade in the city and thereafter played a significant role in the economy as owners of factories, mills, and the grain trade created in January 1863. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Jewish community of approximately 1,000 had a yeshiva, a hospital, several Jewish schools, newspapers, and political parties. Before WWII began, Jews were about 50% of the 20,000 population. After the Soviet attack on Poland in 1939, for some time the Polish Red Army occupied ?om?a. In June 1941, ?om?a was occupied by the Germans, who two months later organized the ghetto. From June to September 1941, 3,500 Jews were murdered in the nearby forests. In November 1942, the ghetto was liquidated and the Jews sent to the camp in Zambrowie, where some were killed or died from disease and the rest sent to Auschwitz. By enclosing ?om?a Jews in the ghetto (official name "Jewish residential areas"), burials were in the adjacent cemetery at ulica Rybaki, the Old Cemetery. Cemetery photos. [May 2009]

Mass Graves:

  • In November 1942, the Nazis murdered approximately 3,500 Jews. In total, they shot about 9,000. Jews from the ghetto were buried in a mass grave in the forest. Almost all died at the mass execution; only a very few managed to escape. At the cemetery, a group of young Poles and Jews also was shot. [May 2009]

Old Cemetery: ulica Rybaki

  • Established in ?om?a on a high bank of the Narwi near the top of the castle on the road to Szuru leading to the refineries (current ulica Rybaki).  In recent years, restoration of the city cemetery was ordered. Preserved gravestones were set into three groups and a lapidarium created in the original urban park. Virtually all tombstones are granite with inscriptions and symbols of lions, crowns and candlesticks. Graves are considered property of a family so nothing can be removed or altered without consent of the owner. Without a conservator, the cemetery went to ruin with the majority of graves lost; however, preserved tombs and gravestones show a high level of stone art. Inscriptions in Hebrew, the top contains gravestone symbolism and ornaments. Inscriptions with name, place of birth, date of death, occupation, Cohan-Levite-Israel, etc is legible and can be read with the symbolism. The ulica W?skiej cemetery remains abandoned virtually by all. Visitors seeking graves of family members may not find the burial. Since 1999, the Lomza Jewish Cemetery Foundation carries out cemetery maintenance with a permanent U.S. representative to the Foundation in Lomza. This Foundation's financial support systematically implements restoration and maintenance; so far, all the tombs were cleaned and more than two hundred matzevot renovated. [May 2009]
  • Old Cemetery: The Old Cemetery located about half a mile from Old Market maintained as a lapidarium. An artist's rendition of the cemetery before the Germans destroyed it exists. At some point after WWII, when it was time to restore the cemetery and put back the stones that had been removed and found, memories of individual townspeople was the source for re-positioning the stones. Ergo, there is no way to be certain who, if anyone, is buried under any given stone. David Linden; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . [date?]
New Cemetery: ulica W?skiej

information about the Old Cemetery and the New Cemetery. Photographs and information about the restoration. [December 2000]

1999 restoration from Jewish News. Information about Lomza. Source: Yigal Rechtman; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [date?]

burial list [Jan 2015]

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

BOOK: Gruber, Ruth Ellen. Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to East-Central Europe. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1992. p. 76

Last Updated on Saturday, 03 January 2015 22:08
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