Alternate names: Piła, Pile, Pily [Pol], Schneidemühl [Ger], Schneidemuehl, Schneidemuehle, Pile, Pily. 53°09' N, 16°45' E, 50 miles N of Poznań (Posen). 1905 Jewish population: 800. Capital of Posen-Westpreußen, Germany (1922-1938) and capital of Piła Voivodship (1975-1998) in west-central Poland on the Gwda River. ShtetLink. JOWBR and burial list. History. History. No Jews live in Pila today. [June 2009]
BOOK: History of the Jewish Community of Schneidemühl: 1641 to the Holocaust. by Peter Simonstein Cullman. The Schneidemühl cemetery memorial website has much information and history on Schneidemühl. [August 2009]
After the first partition of Poland in 1772, Pila was renamed Schneidemuehl. The area became the Prussian province of Posen (Grand Duchy of Posen), Prussia's most Jewish province. To date, no records of the first Jewish cemetery are found. This second Jewish cemetery in Schneidemuehl, probably was established in the late 1840s and is located in the city center, near the 17th century Jewish quarter. The 1850s Berlin-Kuenigsberg railway creation gave the town importance. 1905 Jewish population was 800 out of 22,000. My cousin Martin Rosenberg, as former head of the Chevra Kadisha of Schneidemuel, immigrated to Santiago, Chile in 1938 and brought with him a handwritten booklet containing over 500 names, complete with Hebrew death dates pertaining to the second Jewish cemetery of Schneidemuehl. (I estimate though, that the names in this booklet account only for about 25% of all Jews buried in Schneidemuehl.) The list is a revised, alphabetized master list. Revisions were possible with the aid of Civil BMD records of Schneidemuehl in my possession and are based on my own research into the history of the Jews of Schneidemuehl, my maternal ancestral town. I have sorted the contents of the booklet by names, dates and by field of burial. By comparing this list against the Civil BMD records of Schneidemuehl, I found numerous discrepancies in the data of the salvaged booklet. I was able to enhance the original list by correcting the spelling of some surnames, adding numerous maiden names, adding some dates of death as well as correcting many dates, adding all (converted Hebrew dates) to dates of the Gregorian calendar, incl. dates of the week. The remaining minor discrepancies in dates between the Hebrew and Gregorian calendar are due to the difference in the exact time when the death occurred, i.e. before or after sunset. The Germans destroyed the Jewish cemetery of Schneidemahl in 1940. Source: Peter Simonstein Cullman, 99 Yorkville Ave., Toronto, Ontario, M5R 3K5, Canada. Copy of original booklet at Leo Baeck Institute, NY: Storage-Location: Second floor; Accession Number(s): AR 2600. 
CEMETERY: Established probably in 1627. A new rectangular 0.8 ha cemetery, adjacent to the earliest burial grounds at Karlstraße 13 (pl. Domańskiego), was inaugurated in 1854, not far from the later city centre, near the new synagogue. This old cemetery was totally destroyed by the Nazis of Schneidemühl in 1939 and replaced by a public park. Today there is is a kindergarten and a Police School gymnasium on the original cemetery site. No trace of gravestones remains, only a fragment of brick cemetery wall (in the courtyard of the house at ul. Konopnickiej 5 and Wiązów alley). A cemetery in Pile-Leszkowi was established in 1915 to bury the WWI military dead. One part was dedicated to Russian Jewish soldiers. A monument was later built with massive, rectangular columns crowned by a Magen David. Most gravestones were identical, displaying a Magen David. This monument was destroyed by the local Nazis in the 1930s, the gravestones were used to shore up the river banks. Only three gravestones remained including two restored in the 1990s, but later destroyed by local vandals. The place where the monument stood is still clearly visible. Pila website. [June 2009]
PILA I: US Commission No. POCE000420
Alternate name: Schneidemuehl in German. Pila is located at 53º 09 N 16º 44 E in Pila province. The cemetery is in the town center. 1990 town population was 25,000-100,000 with 10-100 Jews.
The earliest Jewish settlement was 16th century. In 1626, the great fire in the whole town started from the house of Joachim the Jew. Afterwards, the Jewish inhabitants were expelled to the specially created separate district. The unlandmarked cemetery was established at the beginning of the 17th century, probably 1627. Eventually, Progressive/Reform Jews used it. The isolated urban flat land has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public Police School, access is entirely closed with a continuous fence and locking gate. The approximate size before WWII was.80 ha. There are no stones. Stones were moved to another cemetery. A regional or national government agency owns the property used for recreation. Adjacent property is a Police School. It was vandalized during WWII and does not exist. No threats.
Henryk Grecki, 70-534 Szczecin, ul Sltysiz 3/13, tel. 377-41 completed survey Aug. 13, 1991 after a visit.
US Commission PILA (II) No. POCE000421
The "Military Cemetery" is located at Leszkow-"Cmentarz Wojenny" at 53º 07 N 16º 47 E in the province of Pila, 4 km "od centrum Pily." The cemetery was established in 1915, also the date of the last burial of all soldiers. The suburban flat land, part of a war cemetery, has inscriptions in Hebrew on gate or wall. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is open to all with a broken fence without gate. The approximate size before WWII and now is 1.20 ha. 20-100 gravestones, with many in original locations and more that 75% of the stones toppled or broken. The cemetery is divided into sections by religion. The 20th century, granite and other multi-stone monuments have inscriptions in Hebrew. No known mass graves. No structures.
The municipality owns the property used for cemetery only. Adjacent property is forest. Occasionally, private visitors stop. It was never vandalized. Local/municipal authorities cleared vegetation in 1970. Authorities occasionally clear. Weather erosion is only a slight threat.
Henryk Grecki, 70-534 Szczecin, ul Sltysiz 3173, tel. 377-41 completed survey Aug. 13, 1991 after a visit.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 August 2009 12:47|