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SIERPC: Mazowieckie [Sheps, Sherpts ,Serptz, Scherps, Serepets, Serpec, Shepsk, Sherptz] PDF Print E-mail

Coat of arms of Sierpc Alternate names: Sierpc [Pol], Sheps, שערפּץ [Yid], Sherpts [Yid], Serptz, Серпц [Rus], Scherps, Serepets, Serpec, Shepsk, Sherptz. 52°53' N, 19°40' E, 23 miles N of Płock (Plotsk), 16 miles SE of Rypin. 1900 Jewish population: 2,935.

Yizkors: Kehilat Sierpc; sefer zikaron (Tel Aviv, 1959).  Khurbn Sierpc 1939-1945; zikhroynes fun di ibergeblibene landslayt vos gefinen zikh in der Amerikaner Zone in Daytshland (Munich, 1949). Zaml-bukh fun Sherptser sheyres ha-khurbn, 1939-1945 (Germany, 1948).

The first documentation of Jews in Sierpc was in 1739. Jews performed small-scale trade and handicrafts in a poor economic situation necessitating financial assistance provided by relatives from America. The Jews in the markets in Sierpc merchants came from distant cities like Lviv and Prague. In 1800, the 649 Jews made up 67% of all residents growing steadily to a peak of 2,935 (42%) around 1897. Immigration decreased the number in 1938 to only 307 (30.5%). 75% of these Jews were sent to the ghetto in Nowy Dwór and from there to Warsaw leaving about 500 in Sierpc for slave labor in the Sierpc ghetto established in the spring of 1940 between the streets Kasztelańską, Górną, and Kilińskiego. Living conditions were terrible. Ghetto liquidation was in January 1942 with some murdered here and others deported to Strzegów and then to Auschwitz and Treblinka. The Nazis destroyed the local synagogue and Jewish cemetery, located on ul. Władysława Jagiełły.


  • Founded in the first half of the 19th century, the 0.2-ha cemetery was vandalized by the Germans during WWII, who used the gravestones for curbing and pavement. Nearly 170 gravestones, the oldest dating from 1850, found by survivor Lejb Gongola are sandstone and other materials. Carved decorations are visible with inscriptions in Hebrew and Polish. A 1928 wooden beit tahara is a unique monument. On its walls Hebrew inscriptions still survive. Gravestones recovered from paving slabs were cut, transported, and reset in the cemetery. Local authorities maintain the Holocaust monument memorializing the Jews of Sierpc with fragments recovered around 1970-1972. Descendants fenced of cemetery in 1998-1999 and rededicated the site on September 1, 1999 with a ceremony attended by representatives of local authorities and Jewish institutions, among other things: the aforementioned Rabbi E. Schlesinger, Jonah Booksterin - Director Lauder Foundation in Poland, and Michal Semęt of the Jewish community. Video. Photos.  Jewish history. [July 2009]
  • Burial list [Jan 2015]
  • US Commission No. POCE000626

The town is in the Plockie region at 52º5119º39, 35 km from Plock. The cemetery is located at ulica Jagielly. Present population is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

  • Town: Urzad (Office) Miasta, Ulica. Piastowska 11A, tel. 75066.
  • Regional: Wojewodzki Konserwator Zabytkow, 09-400 Plock, Ulica Kolegialna 15.

The earliest known Jewish community is about 1734. 1921 Jewish population was 2,861. The Jewish cemetery was established probably in the 1st half of the 18th century with last known Orthodox or Conservative Jewish burial between 1939 and 1945. Landmark: Register of Jewish Cemeteries of 1981. The suburban hillside has no sign or marker. Reached by turning directly off a public road, access is entirely closed with a continuous fence with a locking gate. Before WWII the cemetery was about 1.5 ha and is now .16 ha. 100-500 gravestones in the cemetery, with about 1-20 in original locations and less than 25% toppled or broken, date from about 1850-20th centuries. The sandstone or "lastrico" flat stones with carved relief decoration or multi-stone monuments have Hebrew, Yiddish, and Polish inscriptions. There is a special memorial monument to Holocaust victims but no known mass graves. The municipality owns property used for Jewish cemetery and agriculture. Properties adjacent are agricultural and residential. Compared to 1939, agriculture reduced the cemetery boundaries. Occasionally, private visitors and local residents stop. During World War II, the cemetery was vandalized. Around 1990, local authorites re-erected stones, cleared vegetation, and fixed wall and gate. Occasionally, now, authorities clear. No structures. Vandalism is a slight threat.

Pawel Fijalkowski, 96-500, Sochaczew, Ulica Ziemowita 11, tel. 227-91 completed survey November 10, 1991, with a vist in September 1990 and documentation from Wlasne Archiwum Fotograficzne.

[UPDATE] Photos by Charles Burns [April 2016]


Last Updated on Monday, 11 April 2016 00:57
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