Some of the 200+ headstones in the Jewish graveyard in the Province of Lubusz, western Poland.
Three photographs of an old Jewish cemetery in the small town of Skwierzyna (Schwerin an der Warthe), Lubuskie, Poland. Prior to the Second World War this part of present-day Poland was East Brandenburg, Germany, and had a sizable Jewish population, which (after they had died) were buried on a hill known as Judenberg overlooking the town and Catholic cemetery. This little-known cemetery has more than two hundred 18th and 19th century graves and head stones. Some grave stones are smashed, some piled in a heap, others are near perfect. None appear to be tended. The whole place has a very unusual atmosphere and is seldom visited by either tourists or local townspeople.
A Jewish gravestone in this fine old cemetery. In the distance is the Christian cemetery still very much in use today.
Unfortunately, many Jewish cemeteries in Poland were badly damaged or even totally destroyed by either Nazis or Poles, graves robbed, and the gravestones even used as road-building material. This, however, is one of the best-preserved and most atmospheric cemeteries we know of in Poland.
Looking up at the Jewish cemetery as dusk draws in on a winter evening. This is a very special place.
Other interesting Jewish cemeteries that we ourselves have visited are located in Banie; Sulecin; Szlichtyngowa; Trzemeszno Lubuskie; Turek; and Zielona Gora.
Related content on Polish Poland: photographs of and information on Skwierzyna.
The Jewish cemetery in Poddębice as it looked in 1917. Very little trace of it survives to the present-day.
Poddębice is a small but historically interesting town in the Lodz area of central Poland.
The ‘Deutsche Haus’ in Poddebice during the German occupation. Note the Nazi eagle symbol on the wall.
Some things you may not know about Poddebice:
- In 1921 the census shows that more than 40% of the population of Poddebice were Jewish.
- After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Poddebice was incorporated in to the Warthegau (Wartheland) and was renamed Poddembice and then Wandalenbrück. It reverted to its original name of Poddebice again in 1945.
- In 1940, Germany established a ghetto in Poddębice, in which they imprisoned approximately 1,500 Jews. In April 1942 it was closed and all of its inmates were sent to the Nazi extermination camp in Chelmno.
- The current population of Poddebice is around 7,700.
The early 17th century St. Catherine’s Church in the centre of Poddębice, Poland, c.1974.
Also of possible interest:
- The River Ner flows through Poddębice.
- A rather fine example of a Lutheran Protestant Church dating back to 1871 exists in Poddibice. It is not now, however, used for any religious purpose.
- The building which was once the synagogue for the Jews of Poddębice and surrounding villages exists to the present-day. It is currently used by a local business as an office.
A photograph of the 17th century manor house (palac) in Poddebice, c.1989.
A map showing the area round the city of Lodz with the town of Poddebice marked.
Related content on Polish Poland:
- Information on and archive photographs of the nearby towns of Kolo, Ozorkow, Sieradz and Turek.
An old picture postcard of the Synagogue in Warsaw, c.1917.
The Great Synagogue on Tlomackie Street in Warsaw, Poland, as it looked in 1917. Click on image to enlarge.
Great Synagogue of Warsaw was one of the finest buildings built in Poland in the 19th century and at the time of its opening was the largest synagogue in the world.
The Synagogue was built by the Warsaw’s Jewish community between 1875 and 1878 and was blown-up after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising on 16th May 1943 by the SS. A skyscraper built in the 1980s now stands on the site.
Pictures of the Great Synagogue after its destruction in 1943 by SS-Gruppenführer Jürgen Stroop acting on the orders of Himmler and Hitler.
Interesting fact: Warsaw once had a Jewish population equal to the number of Jews living in all of France.
A photograph of the synagogue in Bielsko (Bielitz), Poland, c.1900.
In 1910 Bialsko was home to almost 4,000 Jews. Around 16% of the town’s population. In the summer of 1941 a Jewish ghetto was established in Bielsko. It was dissolved in June 1942 during when all the Jewish inhabitants of the ghetto were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp where most perished.
Bielsko-Biala is a city in southern Poland in the Silesian Province. It is located 60 kms south of Katowice, 69 kms south-west of Krakow. The town was for much of its history two separate towns located on opposite banks of the Biała River (white river). In 1951 Bialsko was joined with Biała Krakowska to form the new town of Bielsko-Biała. The western part of the combined town of today is former Bielsko (Bielitz).
Don’t miss our page on 1970s Bialsko-Biala.