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Coat of arms of Mogielnica

Alternate names: Mogielnica [Pol], Mogelnitza, מוגיילניצה [Yid], Mogel'nitsa, Могельница [Rus], Mogelnitse, Mogelnitsah. 51°42' N, 20°44' E, 40 miles SSW of Warszawa, 26 miles NW of Radom, 13 miles SSW of Grójec. Jewish population: 2,722 (in 1921). Yizkor: Sefer yizkor Mogielnica-Bledow (Tel Aviv, 1972). This town in Grójec County, Masovian Voivodeship had 2,475 inhabitants in 2004 and seat of Gmina Mogielnica. Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), VI, p. 578: "Mogielnica" #1. Normal 0 Jewish settlement began at the end of the 18th century when they were invited to spur economic recovery of the city. A kahał was formed. As early as 1808, 208 Jews living here accounted for 33.4% of the total population. By the second half of the 19th century, Jews outnumbered Poles. In 1887 Jews (902 men, 985 women) lived here. Mogielnica became a famous Chasidic center when in 1828, tzaddik Chaim Meir Jehiel Szapira, grandson of the famous Kozienice Magid and a student of Abraham Jehoszuy Herszela Opatow and the Seer of Lublin settled here with the granddaughter of Leżajsk Elimelech attracting many Chasidim. His ohel became a pilgrimage site. At the initiative of Chaim Meir Jehiel Szapiry, a yeshiva was built. The mid-19th century Jewish synagogue at pl. Dół was a wooden square with a central hall and polychrome decoration. The 1921 Jewish population was 2,722. Difficult interwar economic conditions and increasing anti-Semitism effected the local Jewish population. Nazi troops occupied the town during the first days of September 1939, burned the synagogue, set up a Judenrat, and began repression of the Jews. They organized slave labor and created in the ghetto, in which about 1,500 were locked including Jews displaced from other locations. Liquidation of the ghetto occurred on February 27-28, 1942. Most were sent to Treblinka. [June 2009]

CEMETERY: Located approximately one km from the market in the woods on the left side of ulica Grójecka at the top of a hill via a forest path starting from two electric poles that lead directly to the hill. A few dozen meters between the trees on the left side an ohel is visible. The cemetery with undefined boundaries was established at the end of the 18th century. The fence was built in 1848. The cemetery area was doubled in size in 1860. The resting place of local tzaddikim, rabbis, and also of hundreds of Jews living in nearby towns. During WWII, the Germans destroyed the cemetery, taking many matzevot for construction work. Dozens of matzevot remain. Several years ago, a dozen tombstones were removed from the foundation of a house. To date, dozens of sandstone matzevot are in the street in front of one building on Dziarnowskiej used by the German gendarmerie. Devastation continued after liberation. Although the late Adam Penkalla in "Jewish Cemetery in Mogielnicy" (Folks Sztyme, number 49/80) wrote about a few dozen fallen matzevot, now, only a few fragments remain. The cemetery boundaries are now unreadable. The entrance probably was located near the ohels. The land shows decades of pine forest growth. Among the trees are several matzevot, two of which were legible, one from 1881. Sandstone, brick and cement mortar is stuck in the depression of destroyed tombs. In a few places, bone is exposed. On one matzevah are traces of black pigment, probably from a destroyed polychrome tomb. In recent years, two ohels for local tzaddikim were erected but remain unfinished. Currently, both buildings serve as alcohol and drug-user spots. The wall is covered vulgar graffiti. In the Warsaw Jewish cemetery is the ohel of Jacob Isaac of Mogielnicy, the son of Chaim Meir Jehiel Szapiro, the author of the book The Truth of Jacob, who died on 11 June 1882. [June 2009]

US Commission No. POCE000079

Mogielnica is located in Radom at 51º41 20º45, 68 km from Warszawa. Cemetery location: Przylesie St. Present town population is 5,000-25,000 without Jews.

  • Town: Burmistrz Miasta, 05-640 Mogielnica, ul. Rynek 1, tel. 149.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, 26-600 Radom, ul. Moniuszki 5a, tel. 2-13-16.

The earliest known Jewish community was 1777. 1921 Jewish population (census) was 2,722 (51.2%). Involving the Jewish community were 1917-1918 Jewish refugees. Chaim Meir Jechiel of Mogielmica lived here. The Jewish cemetery was established about 1777 with last Orthodox burial in 1941. The isolated suburban flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all without wall or gate. The present size of the cemetery is 0.5 hectares. 1-20 tombstones, all in original locations with less than 25% toppled or broken, date from 20th century. The limestone and sandstone flat stones with carved relief decorations, have Hebrew inscriptions. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces. No mass graves or structures. Private individuals own property used for recreation. Properties adjacent are agricultural. Frequently, organized Jewish groups and individual tours, and private visitors stop. The cemetery was vandalized during WWII, but not in the last 10 years. No maintenance or care. Security and vegetation are moderate threats to the cemetery.

Adam Penkalla, deceased, visited site 12 July 1991 and completed survey 9 Aug 1991. No interviews.

UPDATE: I first visited Mogielnica ten years ago. At that time, there were a few broken shards in the forested area that was the Jewish cemetery. In 1996, I was again in the cemetery of Mogielnica. There is no evidence that a cemetery ever existed. It broke my heart, since my ancestors were buried there as early as 1746. In 1998, when we asked students were doing they said, "We are collecting Jewish mushrooms". Source: Betty Provizer Starkman; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [Feb. 1998]

UPDATE: Dr. Norman Weinberg, who is responsible for the restoration of the Suwalki, Poland Jewish Cemetery, reports that restoration of the Mogielnica (Warsaw Gubernia) Cemetery has begun including two ohels. Betty Provizer Starkman wanted to fence in this cemetery and put up a monument to the once vibrant Jewish community. Descendants of Mogielnica can contact Betty Provizer Starkman, Bloomfield Hills, MI, Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / [October 2002]

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 June 2009 17:10
 
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