OSTROLEKA: Masovia Print

Coat of arms of Ostrołęka Alternate names: Ostrołęka [Pol], Ostrolenka [Yid, Rus], Остроленка [Rus], אסטראלענקע [Yid]. 53°05' N, 21°34' E, 66 miles W of Białystok, 62 miles NNE of Warsaw, 22 miles WSW of Łomża. 1900 Jewish population: 4,823. Yizkor: Sefer kehilat Ostrolenka, (Tel Aviv, 1963). Słownik Geograficzny Królestwa Polskiego (1880-1902), VII, pp. 690-692: "Ostrołęka". This town in NE Poland on the Narew river about 120 km (75 miles) NE of Warsaw with a 2007 population of 53,605 in the Masovian Voivodeship since 1999 and previously capital of Ostrołęka Voivodeship (1975-1998), but currently capital of both Ostrołęka powiat and Ostrołęka City County. [June 2009]

The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland reports on its wesite that: On May 12, 2009, "Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland issued a letter to the President of Ostroleka, demanding an immediate cessation of roadworks being carried out at the grounds of the Jewish cemetery in Ostroleka. On the same day a request was made to the Regional Inspector of Building Control to invalidate the decision of the President of Ostroleka allowing the commencement of the roadworks because of the lack of numerous formal requirements such as the absence of the consent of the Monument Conservator, National Sanitary Inspectorate, religious community and the lack of archeological supervision. The Jewish cemetery in Ostroleka was destroyed during the war. Human remains, probably of the Jews buried there before the war, were found during a building of the Janusza Korczaka St. Protest letters were issued earlier by the Head Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich, and  the Foundation." [June 2009]

ShtetLink. [October 2000]

US Comm. No. POCE000050

Alternate name: Scharfenwiese in German (1939-1945). Ostroleka is at 53º05N 21º34E in Ostroleckie Province, 36 km from Lomza, 41 km from Ostrow Mazowiecka, 26 km from Rozan and 136 km from Warszawa. The cemetery is on Poznanska Str. Town population 25,000-100,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Tadeusz Pieczynski, President, Urzad Miejski, Plac Bema 1, 07-400 Ostrolecka tel. 34-14, 27-11 and Panstwowy Dom Dziecka, str. Poznanska 20, 07-400 Ostrolecka, tel.58-54.
  • Regional: Ewa Kawalek -regionKonserwator Zabytkow, Panstwowa Sluzba Ochrony Zabytkow, ooloiz. regionw Ostrolece str. Pilsudskiego 38 07-400 Ostroplecka tel.668-29.
  • Interested: Towarzystwo Przyjaciok Ostroleki 07-400 Ostrolecka Pl. Bema, Panstowowy Dom Dziecka Ostrolecka str Poznanska 20 tel.58-54.

The earliest known Jewish community was 1794. 1931 census shows 4291 Jews. The cemetery was established in the 19th century with last known Orthodox, Conservative or Progressive-Reform Jewish burial in 1939/40. The isolated urban flat land has a sign in Polish, Yiddish and Hebrew mentioning Jews, the Holocaust and the Jewish community. Access, off a public road, is open to all with a continuous fence and locking gate. The cemetery before WWII and now is 3.5 ha. 20-100 gravestones, none in original locations with less than 25% toppled or broken, date from the 19th-20th century. The sandstone flat stones with carved relief decorations or smoothed and inscribed have inscriptions Hebrew and/or Yiddish. The cemetery contains a special memorial to Holocaust victims. The municipality and private individual/s own site. Within the cemetery are an orphanage, a school building, and residential buildings. The cemetery was destroyed during World War II. Vandalism and existing and planned nearby development are very serious problems. Local non-Jewish residents, other non-Jewish individuals or groups and local/municipal authorities and groups from Israel patched broken stones and cleaned stones in 1990-1991. Occasional cleaning or clearing by authorities continues. Properties adjacent are residential, reducing the size of the cemetery from its 1939 configuration. Frequently, organized Jewish group tours, organized individual tours, private visitors and local residents visit.

Wojciech Henrykowski, str Spoldzielcza 20 06-200 Makow Mazowiecki completed survey on August 27, 1991.

Documentation: collection of Panstwowa Sluzba Ochrony Zabytkow w Ostrolece, photographic documentation of the tombstones in the collection.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2009 18:00