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Coat of arms of SosnowiecAlternate names: osnowietz, Sosnowitz, Sosnovitz [Yid], Sosnovyts, Sosnowyts, Sosnovytz, Sosnowytz, Сосновец (Russian), Sosnovetz. 50°17' N 18°32' E, 172.6 miles SW of Warszawa. This city in Zagłębie Dąbrowskie powiat in southern Poland near Katowice. The central district of the Upper Silesian Metropolitan Union - metropolis with the population of 2 millions. Located in the Silesian Highlands on the Brynica river (tributary of the Vistula) in the Silesian Voivodeship since 1999, previously Katowice Voivodeship. Sosnowiec is one of the cities of the 2.7 million Katowice urban area and within a greater Silesian metropolitan area with a 2008 population in the city is 222,586. 5 other smaller towns in the regions of Bydgoszcz, Kielce, Łódź, Łomża, and Opolealso called Sosnowiec. Sosnowiec was granted city rights only in 1902 by joining a number of settlements often several centuries old such Milowice, Sielec, Pogoń, Modrzejów, Niwka, Środula and Radocha. To almost the end of the 19th century, Jews from Sosnowiec were subordinate to the kahal in Bedzin and buried their dead there.  Included in the Yizkor Book Pinkas Zaglembie. Jewish population: 2,291 (in 1897), 13,464 (in 1921.ShtetLinks. Yizkors: Sefer Sosnowiec ve-ha-seviva be-Zaglembie [vol. 2] (Tel Aviv, 1974); Sefer Sosnowiec ve-ha-seviva be-Zaglembie [vol. 1] (Tel Aviv, 1973); Pinkas Zaglembye (Melbourne, 1972); Ke-'aleh nidaf: korot hayim mi-Sosnovits (Tel Aviv, 1993); Zaglada Zydow Sosnowca (Katowice, 1946); 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) [July 2009]

ul Gospodarczej Jewish Cemetery:

US Commission No. POCE000561:The US Commission has not supplied this file.

ul. Gospodarcza I: about 300 stones date from 1896. Source: Miriam Weiner . Niwka Pasterna: A few dozen stones date from the 19th century. Source: Miriam Weiner

In 1893, an outbreak of cholera forced Sosnowiec Jews to find a closer place of burials to avoid spreading the epidemic. Lejb Będziński with financial support from the Rajcher family decided to create their own burial. Over time, this cemetery became the official burial place of the new Sosnowiec kahal. Merchant and businessman Adolf Oppenheim financed the cemetery fence. Adam Bergman paid for site preparation and excavated a well for ritual purposes. The Rajcher family financed the beit tahara (preburial house). In the cemetery are impressive marble tombs of famous families: Oppenheimers, Libermans, and Reicherts.  The chevra kaddisha organized in 1907 by Messiers Fiszof and Fajter was accused of excessive charges. An elongated rectangle with the entrance gate and beit tahara located on the current ul. Gospodarczej, unlike many others abandoned Jewish cemeteries in Poland, this cemetery functions to this day. During WWII, the cemetery is not destroyed. Rather, the destruction came under the communist PRL when some gravestones were taken to pave a street now covered with asphalt. Gravestones also disappeared due to the cemetery caretaker, who illegally sold the sandstone and marble slabs. As a result, in the farthest parts of the cemetery are huge gaps in gravestones. The diversity of the memorial markers in this cemetery exemplifies the economic situation of the population. In addition to traditional matzevot are obelisks, felled trees, and large mausoleums. Gravestones of commonly sandstone or concrete composite stand beside those made of marble, granite, and other expensive stones. Inscriptions in Hebrew very often have Polish or German portions. In recent decades, gravestones virtually show no difference from those in the nearby Catholic cemetery. Some even include photographs contrary to Jewish practice. The largest concentration of tombstones is found in the center of the cemetery, those of wealthy families and local Jewish community personalities including Adolf Oppenheim. Two gravestones surrounded by a low foundation probably are the foundation of a destroyed ohelu. Also buried here are the son of Rabbi Mordechai David Pardes, Abraham Elimelech Jechezchiela Aharon Moshe Kohen ben David, the son of Rabbi Zawiercie, and Abraham Majer Gitler, son of Arie Lejbusza, in a Moorish style ohel. The farthest sections with the largest destruction hold about 500 gravestones, or their fragments in more than sixty rows, although often in the same line only randomly scattered individual gravestones survive. Before WWII, the number of memorials was at least three times greater than what survives today. Many Holocaust memorials exist, often mentioning even a dozen people from the same family. One at the entrance commemorates Holocaust victims from Zagłębie. The cemetery is open Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 17.00 and is administered by Jewish Community in Katowice. The cemetery is guarded. photoPhotos. Holocaust history. Jewish history.  [July 2009]

Jewish Cemetery on Gospodarcza Street near the Jewish Hospital was desecrated on May 25, 2010 and had been vandalized and neglected over the years. [June 2010]

Sosniewicz-MODRZEJÓW Jewish cemetery on ul. Pastewnej:

US Commission No. POCE000547 In Katowickie. The US Commission is not finished rechecking this file. [2000]
Modrzejów-Sosnowiec, where Jews first settled around 1700 in the current Sosnowca, shows the prevalence of Jews in the fact that never was there a Christian church here. The cemetery located on a hill on current ul. Pastewnej in the vicinity of the Black Przemsza is the oldest of the three Jewish cemeteries in Sosnowiec that some claim the cemetery dates from 1713 although later seems unlikely since in 1765, only five Jewish families live in Modrzejowie. Others believe that the cemetery dates from 1866,which seems likely since in 1864, Jews from here still buried their dead in Bedzin. In 1865, the kahal sought permission to create their own burial place to avoid the long trek to Bedzin. The sign on the cemetery gate gives 1790 as the year of establishment. However, gravestones from 1840 are only listed on the inventory of gravestones. A relatively small area holds approximately three hundred gravesstones, or their fragments, including about two hundred and fifty-set during the restoration. An unspecified number of monuments still are located in the back of the cemetery, covered with a layer of earth and grass. In addition, about twenty small matzevot fragments were placed near the entrance and surrounded by a steel chain, presumably a mass grave from the Holocaust. Most gravestones are traditional, vertical with semicircular tops made of sandstone and other stones. Iron matzevot disappeared from the site of the cemetery. When the gate was set, a few monuments in the shape of truncated or broken trees, symbolizing premature death, can be found. Some interwar graves are horizontal concrete slabs with a small part for the inscriptions. Weathering explains the absence of polychrome decoration, a chemical used by local factories to create a black coating. In addition to traditional Jewish sepulchral art such as lions or sheep, original bas-relief are unique in the whole country such as the image of a horse on the grave of Simon ben Zeewa Wenger, who died in the 5600 (1839-1840). He may have been a Hungarian horse trader. Another interesting symbol is an eagle. Jeffrey Cymbler asserts that the symbol was drawn to honor Jews who killed in the uprisings in 1831 and 1863 in the struggle for Polish independence. The cemetery probably was vandalized during WII and later deteriorated in the following years of abandonment. The unfenced cemetery covered with vegetation attracts wine drinkers from a nearby shop. In the 1980s and 1990s, Jewish survivors performed work on the site including setting gravestones on concrete and placing a solid, steel fence was completed in August 30, 1993. Students of the local schools helped. Two stylized gravestones for Holocaust victims in Polish and Hebrew from the Zagłębie Association of the Jews exists. The unveiling led by Abraham Greene, president of the Association of Jews in Israel from Zagłębie and Arie Ben-Tovem, chairman of the World Organization of Jews Zagłębiowskich. The current caretaker is Daniel Chodos, a member of the Jewish Community in Katowice. Advance arrangements for visiting can be made by telephoning  the headquarters of the Jewish Community in Katowice. Photos. [July 2009]

Sosnowiec-Milowice Jewish cemetery on ul Stalowej:

US Commission No. POCE000562. In Katowickie. The US Commission is not finished rechecking this file. [2000]  Due to the destruction of the prewar Jewish archives in Sosnowiec, the history of this cemetery is lost. In a full view of the cemetery on ul. Gospodarczej, at the end of the 1920s, a new burial place in Milowice was planned but not begun until probably shortly before the outbreak of WWII and was used until the liquidation of the ghetto in Sosnowiec. The relatively large area has about twenty gravestones or fragments, of which only a few remain legible. Monuments memorialize those lost in the Holocaust. Some of them are probably symbolic like that of Rachel Gross, died in 1943 at Auschwitz or a man named Zylbersztajn man, who died on June 30, 1945 in Theresienstadt. A1965 document of the Jewish congregation in Sosnowiec says the cemetery was destroyed, the fence stolen, and since the end of WWII has had no restoration. Owners some nearby gardens contributed to the devastation to the cemetery because in Winter 2008, the entrance to one of the parcels has matzevot. Despite the set of information signs, the area serves as an illegal dump. Photos. photos. [July 2009]

The following is a list of Jewish cemeteries in Zaglembie. I have personally visted most of them: Bedzin - ul. Podzamcze, Bedzin - ul. Zawale (now a park), Bedzin - ul. Sielecka (bus terminal), Czeladz - ul. Czealdzka 64 (also used by Bedzin community), Sosnowiec - ul. Gospodarcza 1, Sosnowiec (Modzejow) - ul. Niwka Pastewna, Sosnowiec (Milowice) - ul. Stalowa, Dabrowa Gornicza - ul. Wolka 5, Dabrowa gornicza - ul. Mydlice, Wolbrom - ul. Skalska, Zawiercie - ul. Daszynskiego, Kromolow - ul. Piaskowa 29, Olkusz - ul. Kopalniana, Olkusz - ul. Olowiana, Boleslaw - Krzykawka 139 (used by Slawkow community), I have many photos of these cemeteries. You should also consult the following:
  • Daab, Alezandra, Macewy Bedzinskie [Bedzin Jewish Tombstones]. Katowice: Urzad Miejski w Bedzinie, 1993.
  • Derus, Malgorzata and Dariusz Walerjanski, "Cmentarze zydowskie w wojewosdstwie katowickim [Jewish Cemeteries in the Province of Katowice]," in Cmentarze zydowskie. Wroclaw: Towarzystwo Przyjacol Polonistyki Wroclawskiej, 1995, pp. 155-165.
  • Rozmus, Dariusz, Cmentarze Zydowskie Ziemi Olkusziej [The Jewish Cemeteries in the Olkusz Region]. Krakow: Oficyna Cracovia, 1999.
  • Rozmus, Dariusz, "Nowe Dane Dotyczace Cmentarzy Zydowskich w Dawnym Powiecie Olkuskim w Granicach Administracyjnch do 1975 r [New Data on Jewish Cemeteries in the Former County of Olkusz Within the Administrative Boundaries Up to 1975]," in Ochrona Zabytkow 1999 Nr. 1, pp. 68-72.
  • Rozmus, Dariusz, "Slady Polichromii na Nagrobkach z Obszaru Dawnego Powiatu Olkuskiego [Treces of Polychromy on Jewish Gravestones in the Former County of Olkusz]," in Ochrona Zabytkow 2000 Nr. 1, pp. 85-92.
  • Walerjanski, Dariusz, "Cmentarze Zydowskie w Wojewodztwie Katowickim - Historia, Stan Zachowania, Problemy Ochrony [Jewish Cemeteries in the Katowice Voivodship - History, State Preservatio, Protection Problems]," in Ochrona Zabytkow 1998, no. 3, pp. 246-257.

For your information, a book listing every tombstone in the Zawiercie cemetery will be published shortly. Also, I am involved in a project to publish a book on the old Jewish cemetery in Bedzin which dates back to 1808. Anyone interested in this book, please contact me. Jeffrey Cymbler This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [November 2000 on JewishGen Digest]


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