This military cemetery "Olpiny Nr. 35" is situated on a ridge, 8km north of Biecz. 49º47 55 N 21º12 50 Alt.353 (GPS Magellan 3000). I made no contacts and spoke only to farmers working in a field adjacent to the unlocked cemetery with no caretaker. The municipal government or Roman Catholic vicarage, "Parafia" may have information about the cemetery. The book "Westgalizische Heldengraeber..." reported that 6 single graves were erected in the Jewish municipial cemetery of Olpiny in 1914-1915. There Jewish soldiers were buried. 1 km north, Austrian Wargrave Commission built a huge military cemetery for other Austrians and for Germans. Affiliation of the Jewish fallen to military units is unknown. All must have died in the course of the Battle of Gorlice-Tarnow. Jewish cemetery military part dates from 1914-1915, 3 km south of the village of Olpiny on a ridge in free land. The unlandmarked cemetery is listed in Die Westgalizischen Heldengraeber aus den Jahren des Weltkrieges 1914-1915, by Major Rudolf Broch and Captain Hans Hauptmann, Krakow 1918. The book lists and describes 400 military cemeteries in Western Galicia, Poland with maps, pictures, and outlines. The isolated and difficult to find rectangular group of bushes with no sign or marker can be found as follows: From the center of Olpiny, turn south up the ridge. After about 2 km, find the cemetery NR.34 Olpiny (the big one). Follow the field (country) lane for 1km to the conspicuous group of bushes. Access is open to all with no gate, wall, or fence. Present size of rectangle of bushes measures about 100x30m. No gravestones. The Austrian graves were made of sandstone. The 6 single gravestones that did exist had Stars of David. The present owner of the cemetery property must be the Polish because by the Treaty of St.Germain, the successor states of Austria Hungary were obliged to take care of the cemeteries irrespective of nationality, religion or race. The cemetery property is used for bushes amidst of meadows and fields. The cemetery is visited rarely. The farmers reported that last year (1996) somebody lit candles. The Austrian Black Cross Organization (pendant to War Grave Commission) gives no care or maintenance. No threats.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 21 June 2009 13:58|