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Coat of arms of Opatów Alternate names: Opatów [Pol], Apt, אפטא [Yid], Opatov, Опатув [Rus], Apta. 50°48' N, 21°26' E, 9 miles S of Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, 33 miles E of Kielce. 1900 Jewish population:  4,138. Yizkors: Apt (Opatow); sefer zikaron le-ir va-em be-yisrael (Tel Aviv, 1966). Yizkor; yehude Apta: reshimat yehude 'ir ha-mehoz Opatow me-ha-shanim 1940-41 (Israel, ). Pinkas ha-kehilot; entsiklopediya shel ha-yishuvim le-min hivasdam ve-ad le-aher shoat milhemet ha-olam ha-sheniya: Poland vol. 7: Kielce and Lublin (Jerusalem, 1999). Ostrovtse; geheylikt dem Ostrovtse, Apt... (Buenos Aires, 1949). This town on the Vistula River, in an area of forests and lakes in Opatów Gmina, Opatowski Powiat, Świętokrzyskie Voivodship is the capital of Opatów powiat with a 2007 population of 7,833. [June 2009] Normal 0

Jewish settlement was first documented in the 1538 with a kahal already established. Abbots was one of the centers of Polish Chasidism. Opatów became an important Chasidic center. For many years, Jews represented about 65% of the total population. The cemetery existed in 1639 because in an archival document the Jews accused Simon Zelewskiego and others of destroyed cemetery gravestones. Jews from nearby towns also used the cemetery. Several thousand gravestones in tight placement  in a walled cemetery with a gate at the tahara existed before WWII. During WWII, the cemetery was destroyed by the Nazis. They murdered Jews in the ghetto and buried them in mass graves in the cemetery. They also executed Jews in the cemetery. After liberation, many gravestones with the brick and stone wall remained in the cemetery. Thefts of matzevot occurred in Opatowie matzevot, but the final destruction was by municipal authorities in the1960s. In the Jewish Historical Institute is correspondence between various authorities including the Ministry of Municipal Economy in November 1956 that officially closed the cemetery. According to the Catalog of Monuments of Art in 1959 stated that about 1,000 matzevot remained, while other sources indicate a smaller number. An August 17, 1957 document states that gravestones taken from the cemetery (15 gravestones with an average value per piece of 20 zł times 15 units = 300 zł.) were removed from the cemetery and used for building purposes. The authorities allocated to the cemetery as a park. Initially rejected, in October 1962, 25 gravestones were excavated from the southern part of the urban park on ul. Straconych 11. In the 1960s, the cultural center and garages were built in 1975 in the cemetery and later the concert shell. Of course, construction workers repeatedly encountered bones. In the 1980s, activists from Friendship Association of Opatowskiej Land secured a few matzevot fragments found on the banks of the Opatówki river. With the help of  Office of the City, Richard Staniszewskiego of the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, recovered gravestones and moved them into the cemetery on concrete foundations evoking the shape of gravestones. The lapidarium unveiling ceremony took place on November 27, 1989. PJCRP - Reconstruction Project of Jewish cemeteries in Poland planned to raise funds to build a symbolic ohel for tzaddikim, but these plans never came to fruition. Photos. [June 2009]

The five-acre cemetery in this once well-known Jewish community is partially fenced. Part of it is a park where many boys played kick ball. In the park is a Jewish tombstone lying on its side and used as a bench. We found eight restored shards covered with swastikas and anti-Semitic graffati. It was very depressing. Source: Betty Starkman; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (Feb. 1998)

US Commission No. 000238. Alternate name: Apt (Yiddish); located in Tarnobrzeg. The US Commission is not finished rechecking this file. [2000]

Last Updated on Sunday, 21 June 2009 15:58
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