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Coat of arms of Olkusz Alternate names: Olkusz [Pol], Elkish, עלקיש [Yid], Ol'kush, Олкуш [Rus], Elkush, Olkust. 50°17' N, 19°34' E, 21 miles NW of Kraków, 19 miles E of Będzin (Bendin). 1900 Jewish population:  1,835. Yizkors: Olkusz (Elkish); sefer zikaron le-kehila she-hukhehada ba-shoa (Tel Aviv, 1971/72) and Pinkas Zaglembye (Melbourne, 1972). Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), VII, pp. 486-493: "Olkusz". This town in S Poland with 37,696 inhabitants in 2004 in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship since 1999, previously in Katowice Voivodeship (1975-1998) and the capital of Olkusz powiat. We Remember Jewish Olkusz!. video. Normal 0 The first documentation of Jewish residence in Olkusz was prior to 1317 when the books of the city record "due Judeorum Curie" meaning "two houses of Jews." A Royal order forced them to leave until until the 16th century when their number and importance to the economy, particularly in the trade in lead, silver and business loans, gradually increased. [June 2009]

Old Jewish Cemetery:  Established in 1584 at the current ul. Kolorowej. The cemetery was severely damaged during WWII. The gravestones and the fence were placed in the courtyard in the former Olkusz School. Some were used to construct the reservoir and water system. Only one gravestone remains although 1984 research inventoried several dozen tombstones. In 2006, leaders of the Association of Cultural Olkuskiego surrounded thirty graves, discovered during construction work on one of the premises in the district of Pomerania, with a fence. In 2008, Anna Michalowska-Mycielska, Dariusz Rozmus, and Marta Rozmus published a book entitled Old Jewish Cemetery in Olkusz. Materials that can be purchased at the Museum of the City "Sztygarka" in Dąbrowa Mining and Academic Bookshop. [June 2009]

New Jewish Cemetery: Established around 1900 at ulicy Jana Kantego. Various sources cite from several dozen to two hundred matzevot, most not in original location. Many gravestones were damaged or used as building materials. The cemetery fence is partially reduced to ruins, probably remnants of tahara. Only a few matzevot are intact. Litter of cigarettes and liquor bottles abounds. Some gravestones were transferred to the Museum of the Olkusz Pożarnictwa for safe keeping. One from 1728 was found in the basement of one of the houses. Another from 1919 is that of Chaim ben Mordechai Josef Heszaji. Another is in memory of Abraham ben Moshe Aharon, a Levit who died in April 1916. The gravestone of Elchonena Moshe ben Josef Jakow. Photos. [June 2009]

OLKUSZ: (I) US Commission No. 000537 and (II) US Commission No. 000538. In Katowickie. The US Commission is not finished rechecking these files. [2000]

The following is a list of Jewish cemeteries in Zaglembie. I have personally visted most of them: Bedzin - ul. Podzamcze, Bedzin - ul. Zawale (now a park), Bedzin - ul. Sielecka (bus terminal), Czeladz - ul. Czealdzka 64 (also used by Bedzin community), Sosnowiec - ul. Gospodarcza 1, Sosnowiec (Modzejow) - ul. Niwka Pastewna, Sosnowiec (Milowice) - ul. Stalowa, Dabrowa Gornicza - ul. Wolka 5, Dabrowa gornicza - ul. Mydlice, Wolbrom - ul. Skalska, Zawiercie - ul. Daszynskiego, Kromolow - ul. Piaskowa 29, Olkusz - ul. Kopalniana, Olkusz - ul. Olowiana, Boleslaw - Krzykawka 139 (used by Slawkow community), I have many photos of these cemeteries. You should also consult the following:

  • Daab, Alezandra, Macewy Bedzinskie [Bedzin Jewish Tombstones]. Katowice: Urzad Miejski w Bedzinie, 1993.
  • Derus, Malgorzata and Dariusz Walerjanski, "Cmentarze zydowskie w wojewosdstwie katowickim [Jewish Cemeteries in the Province of Katowice]," in Cmentarze zydowskie. Wroclaw: Towarzystwo Przyjacol Polonistyki Wroclawskiej, 1995, pp. 155-165.
  • Rozmus, Dariusz, Cmentarze Zydowskie Ziemi Olkusziej [The Jewish Cemeteries in the Olkusz Region]. Krakow: Oficyna Cracovia, 1999.
  • Rozmus, Dariusz, "Nowe Dane Dotyczace Cmentarzy Zydowskich w Dawnym Powiecie Olkuskim w Granicach Administracyjnch do 1975 r [New Data on Jewish Cemeteries in the Former County of Olkusz Within the Administrative Boundaries Up to 1975]," in Ochrona Zabytkow 1999 Nr. 1, pp. 68-72.
  • Rozmus, Dariusz, "Slady Polichromii na Nagrobkach z Obszaru Dawnego Powiatu Olkuskiego [Treces of Polychromy on Jewish Gravestones in the Former County of Olkusz]," in Ochrona Zabytkow 2000 Nr. 1, pp. 85-92.
  • Walerjanski, Dariusz, "Cmentarze Zydowskie w Wojewodztwie Katowickim - Historia, Stan Zachowania, Problemy Ochrony [Jewish Cemeteries in the Katowice Voivodship - History, State Preservatio, Protection Problems]," in Ochrona Zabytkow 1998, no. 3, pp. 246-257.

For your information, a book listing every tombtone in the Zawiercie cemetery will be published shortly. Also, I am involved in a project to publish a book on the old Jewish cemetery in Bedzin which dates back to 1808. Anyone interested in this book, please contact me. Jeffrey Cymbler This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [November 2000 on JewishGen Digest]


[UPDATE] Jewish Cemetery Vandalized [April 2015]

[UPDATE] Polish City to Secure Jewish Cemetery Following Vandalism #1 [April 2015]

[UPDATE] Polish City to Secure Jewish Cemetery Following Vandalism #2 [April 2015]

[UPDATE] Photos by Charles Burns [March 2016]



Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 March 2016 01:35
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