OWCZARY: Małopolskie Print

49°35' N 21°11' E, 184.3 miles S of Warszawa. This village in the administrative district of Gmina Sękowa,within Gorlice powiat, Lesser Poland Voivodeship in southern Poland close to the border with Slovakia.

SURVEY: Alternate names: Rychwald (German)/Owczary (Polish). Owczary is in Nowosadeckie region, about 12 km south of Gorlice. Drive to Gorlice in direction to Konieczna (border with Slovakia); after two or three km, turn right to Siary and follow this road to Owczary( Rychwald). The mayor of Gorlice may have information about the cemetery. During WWI, Jewish soldiers killed in action were buried together with fallen of other religions on this military cemetery. The cemetery was established between 1914-1915. The last known Jewish burial in cemetery was March 16th, 1915. The cemetery is landmarked: in the book "Westgalizische Heldengraeber" the cemetery has the Nr.70. The rural (agricultural) crown of a hill, separate but near other cemeteries, is opposite the municipical cemetery with no sign or marker. Reached at the end of the public road, access is open to all. There is a masonry wall on the front side; the other sides are masonry pillars with a wooden fence between. The cemetery has non-locking gate. The present size of cemetery is 20x30m. In the cemetery are 40 single graves, 4 mass graves, and 9 graves in line, (including 6 or 7 Jewish stones). Concrete pedestals mark other graves with Catholic or Russian crosses. The oldest known gravestone dates from 1915. Some tombstones and memorial markers made of limestone, iron, and wood. The Jewish tombstones are flat shaped stones. Some tombstones with other than metallic elements have inscriptions cut in stone. On one stone, (has photo): Infanterist Stern PINKAS, k.u.k.Inf.Rgt.Nr.21, Gefallen 16.3.1915, RUHE SANFT, [Translation: Private, Stern PINKAS, Imperial and Royal Infantry Regiment Nr.21 (they camE of the region of Caslau, now Caslav Czek Rep.) killed on March 16th 1915, rest in peace.] On a second picture, I can identyfy the name Ehrlich. Inscriptions are in German. The cemetery contains special memorial mounuments to WWI soldiers. The cemetery contains marked mass graves from WWI. The cemetery property is used for military cemetery of WWI according to the Treaty of St. Germain. Properties adjacent are agricultural. Compared to 1939, the cemetery boundaries enclose the same area. Occasionally, private visitors (Jewish or non-Jewish,) local residents, and the organization of the Austrian Black Cross visit. The cemetery was not vandalized. Care: re-erection of stones, cleaning of stones, cleared vegetation, fixing of wall, and fixing of gate. In 1996, I found the cemetery completely restored and in a very good shape. Restoration has been carried out probably by the community (gmina (district)), but in this case I have no confirmation. Current care: occasional clearing or cleaning by authorities. Within the limits of the cemetery is a big wooden crucifix, appr. 3m high. Weather erosion and vegetation are slight threats.
Dr. Erich Fritsch, A 5233 Pischelsdorf 56, O.Oe. Austria, tel. 0043/7742/7400; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it completed this survey on 6 November 1997. He used the following documentation: 1.) Frodyma, Roman; Cmentarze wojskowe z okresu I.wojny swiatowej w rejonie Beskidu Niskiego i Pogorza; and 2.) Die Westgalizische Heldengraeber aus den Jahren des Weltkrieges, ed. Militaerkommando Krakau 1918. The files of the cemetery are stored in Krakow, Archiwum panstwowe, Ulica Sienna but were inaccessible to Dr. Fritsch. He visited the site in July 1996.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 June 2009 13:01