New Jewish Cemetery, Kraków
The New Jewish Cemetery in Kraków, Poland covers an area of about 4.5 hectares (11 acres). It is located at Miodowa 55–58 Street, in the historic Jewish neighborhood of Kazimierz. The Cemetery is a registered heritage monument featuring a well preserved historical mortuary.
The New Jewish Cemetery was founded in 1800 on grounds purchased by the Jewish Qahal from the Augustinians. It was enlarged in 1836 with additional land purchased from the monks. Following the return to independence, the New Cemetery became nearly full. From 1932 on, burials were directed to a new plot bought in 1926 by the Qahal along Abrahama Street and the one at nearby Jerozolimska Street, both in the Wola Duchacka neighborhood (now part of Podgórze district). These two other cemeteries formed the site of the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp during the Holocaust and no longer exist. The Jews from the Kraków Ghetto were sent there.
World War II
Following the Nazi invasion of Poland in World War II, the New Cemetery was closed to outsiders and the Germans sold the most valuable stonework to local masons. Other headstones, as well as slabs, were turned into construction material and used for paving the supply road to the camp, including the courtyard of commandant Amon Göth, who is known for having insisted that the Jews pay for their own executions. Meanwhile, the old bones at the cemetery were often left uncovered and scattered around in what looked like an open-pit mine. Caretaker Pina Ladner, who used to live on premises, was sent to Płaszów beforehand, and shot.
Soon after the war ended, a local civil engineer identified only as Mr. Stendig, likely Jakub Stendig, a camp survivor,[note 1] recovered many tombstones from the Płaszów camp site, and arranged to have them reinstalled at the New Cemetery.
In 1957, the grounds were renovated with funds from the Joint Distribution Committee. After the collapse of communism on March 24, 1999, the cemetery, including the 1903 mortuary, were entered into the register of historical monuments of Kraków.
The New Jewish Cemetery features a renovated brick mortuary hall from 1903, as well as the postwar lapidary memorial fitted with old headstones and crowned with a block of black marble. The cemetery contains over 10,000 tombs, the oldest dating from 1809. There are many monuments commemorating the death of Jews killed during the Holocaust.
Notable individuals buried at the cemetery
Those buried at the New Jewish Cemetery of Kraków include:
- Remuh Cemetery known also as the Old Jewish Cemetery of Kraków
- Rakowicki Cemetery, the main necropolis of the city of Kraków
- Jakub Stendig was a civil engineer who worked in Płaszów camp as a prisoner architect. He was the son of Anschel Stendig, a wealthy citizen. Prior to the invasion, Stendig had graduated from the Technical Academy in Lwów and the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. He survived both Płaszów and Gross-Rosen concentration camps.
- "The New Jewish Cemetery," at Jews and Krakow. Page 12. (PDF) Featuring historical and contemporary photographs, as well as bibliography. Format: PDF 5.51 MB. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa: Rejestr zabytków nieruchomych – województwo małopolskie. ( PDF) 2010-06-30. Page 47. (Polish)
- K. Bielawski, Nowy cmentarz żydowski w Krakowie. Source: Aleksander Bieberstein, Zagłada Żydów w Krakowie. Kirkuty.xt.pl. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
- Nowy cmentarz żydowski w Krakowie (New Jewish Cemetery) from Izrael.badacz.org. (Polish)
- Nowy cmentarz at Magiczny Kraków. Official website of the city.
- "The SS: A Government in Waiting". Yizkor Book Project. JewishGen. 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
- Kraków – Cemetery at ul. Miodowej 58. (New Jewish Cemetery) Virtual Shtetl Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Retrieved November 1, 2011. Note, the custodian who recovered tombstones from Płaszów, mentioned by his last name only, as Engineer Stendig.
- Gustawa (Gutka) Stendig-Lindberg and her family. Kraków – Virtual Shtetl.
- See also: Helaine M. Cigal, Samuel Stending (1900–1942), president of the Psychological Association of Kraków. Note: though the name is spelled similarly, it is not the same. Burial: New Jewish Cemetery, Krakow. Find A Grave Memorial.
- Media related to New Jewish Cemetery in Kraków at Wikimedia Commons
- 26332484 Location of the New Jewish Cemetery in Krakow on OpenStreetMap