The New Jewish Cemetery in Żarki (Polna Street)
The new Jewish cemetery in Żarki (Polna Street) was established in 1821. The cemetery territory was enlarged several times. During the liquidation of ghetto in Żarki, on 6th October 1942, German soldiers shot about 300 people on the cemetery territory.
An interesting story is connected with the history of the cemetery. In 1836, the Abbot of the Pauline Fathers from Leśniów quarreled with the synagogue caretakers, because he wanted to build a fence on the cemetery. Jews stated that the cemetery was established on manorial ground with the owner's consent. However, the abbot proved that it was church property, whereas the mistake of oversight was made by the previous abbots. By virtue of the reached agreement, Jews were obliged to pay a rent for using the cemetery territory. However, in 1847-1858, Jews stopped paying the rent. The court heard the case and returned a verdict in favor of the Pauline Fathers.
It is one of the biggest and the most interesting Jurrasic Jewish cemeteries. About 900 tombs remained on the territory of 1.5 hectares. One of the oldest tombs originates from 1835. They were made of sandstone, chalkstone, granite, concrete. Their shapes are traditional, that is steles and matzevot. Some of them are tumba graves and framed graves. Typical inscriptions in Hebrew can be seen on matzevot.
In 1983-1985, some works were led on the cemetery to keep the order. Led at the same time, an inventory showed that there are 900 tombs on the cemetery. A lapidare was built in the South-East part of the cemetery. These works were financed by the former Żarki inhabitant, Eli Zborowski, a leader of American and International Societies for Yad Vashem.
In 2004, Żarki enthusiasts, the local authorities and Zborowski attempted to encourage the Chamber of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University to lead the inventary, which would be the basis for publishing a book about this subject.
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