The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

The “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre is a local government cultural institution based in Lublin. It works towards the preservation of cultural heritage and education. Its function is tied to the symbolic and historical meaning of the Centre’s location in the Grodzka Gate, which used to divide Lublin into its respective Christian and Jewish quarters, as well as to Lublin as a meeting place of cultures, traditions and religions.

Part of the Centre are the House of Words and the Lublin Underground Trail.

New Jewish cemetery in Lublin

In 1829, due to the lack of free space in the Jewish cemetery in Sienna Street, Nahum Morgenstern, acting in the name of the Jewish community, bought a parcel north of the city limits, called the Grabowiczyzna, with intention to establish a cemetery there. The first burial in that cemetery took place in 1830. Since then, the Jewish cemetery situated in that area has been called the new Jewish cemetery in Lublin.

The cemetery was walled before 1839. Already in the 19th century, it was gradually expanded onto the adjacent parcels.

In 1888, tzadik Yehuda Leib Eiger was buried in the cemetery.

In 1918, the cemetery was expanded by adding another parcel on which a Jewish military cemetery was founded. It was a burial place for Jewish soldiers killed in the First World War who had fought in Austro-Hungarian and Russian armies.

In 1933, rabbi Yehuda Meir Shapiro was buried in the cemetery.

The last expansion of the cemetery took place in 1940. It was a consequence of the growing number of Jewish casualties of the Nazi occupation. Inhumations in the new Jewish cemetery were still carried out when the ghetto in the Podzamcze district existed. In that period, over 6000 people were buried in the new Jewish cemetery.

The cemetery was completely destroyed by the Nazis in 1942. Some tombstones were used to pave the so-called “Black Road” at Majdanek, while others were destroyed. Over 50.000 dead were buried in the cemetery at the time of its destruction.

>>Pictures of non-existent gravestones from the new Jewish cemetery in Lublin

In the 1960s the cemetery site was divided into parcels. The then authorities decided to build the Lenin Avenue (today’s Władysław Anders Avenue) across the cemetery, splitting it into two parts.

The remnants of the new Jewish cemetery include the south-eastern part of the wall and the ohel built over the grave of rabbi Meir Shapiro, whose remains were exhumed in 1598 and transferred to the Har HaMenuchot (“Mount of Those who are Resting”) cemetery in Jerusalem.

The southern part of the burial ground has been used since after the Second World War as a Jewish cemetery. There are tombstones which were found in different parts of the city and its surroundings, several dozen contemporary graves and two monuments to the victims of Hitlerism.

Remains of children and nurses from the Jewish orphanage in 11, Grodzka St. murdered by the Nazis in March 1942 in the Majdan Tatarski ghetto were buried in that part of the cemetery. These bodies were exhumed in 1947.

In the southern part of the cemetery, there are also graves of Jewish soldiers of the Polish army fallen in the years 1939-1944, and prisoners of the labour camp in 7, Lipowa St. It is also the probable place of burial of Leon Feldhendler, one of the leaders of the uprising in Sobibor extermination camp, killed in Lublin in 1945.

In 1959, the ohel of Yehuda Leib Eiger was reconstructed.

In 1989, owing to the efforts of Sarah and Manfred Frenkel, the cemetery site was registered in the National Register of Historic Monuments. The Sara and Manfred Frenkel Foundation brought about the restoration of the northern part of the cemetery: the site was renovated and the Hall of Memory was erected there.

1998 saw the reconstruction of the Eiger tzadik dynasty’s ohel which once again had been devastated. It holds the remains of, among others, Yehuda Leib Eiger.

 


Compiled by Bartosz Gajdzik
Translated by Jarosław Kobyłko

Literature

Bałaban M.. Żydowskie miasto w Lublinie, Lublin 2012.
Burchard P., Pamiątki i zabytki kultury żydowskiej w Polsce, Warszawa 1990.
Wajs S., Fakty i wydarzenia z życia lubelskich Żydów, Lublin 1997.

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