Jewish Cemetery in Poland Slated for Destruction

Grodzisk cemetery destroyed in Holocaust used as junkyard and storage site; now building plans threaten its very existence.

Chaim Lev, Ari Yashar,

Jewish graves in Poland
Jewish graves in Poland
Hezki Ezra

The Jewish community of Poland is working urgently to try and save the Jewish cemetery in Grodzisk, after the city's council began work on a construction project in the northern part of the city where the graveyard is located, putting it in direct danger.

The cemetery was destroyed during the Holocaust, and afterwards most of the grounds were transferred to the "Independent Peasants Aide" organization, under whose proxy machines and building materials were stored on the site. In recent years, part of the cemetery has been used as a junkyard.

City council members want to designate the cemetery land for use in constructing residential buildings. A portion of the fenced in territory of the cemetery is not included in the building project, but in fact the graves are spread out even beyond the fence, meaning even building outside the marked borders of the cemetery poses a threat.

If the building plan is acted upon, a new neighborhood will be built on top of hundreds of Jewish graves.

The cemetery's gate which remains from before the war would not have any more fortunate fate, as the plan does not include any provision to preserve it. At the moment the gate sits between scrap heaps gathered in the cemetery.

The Jewish community in Warsaw has expressed its hopes that since the mayor of Grodzisk has held Jewish cultural events in recent years, he may be willing to help save the hundreds of scattered Jewish graves from further desecration and destruction.