The first Jewish cemetery was founded circa 1588; however, its location is unknown. Today, the only surviving cemetery is situated at the corner of Dąbrowskiego Street and Wysokie Brzegi Street. It was established at the turn of the 19th century. The cemetery was originally square, but the area that remains today is shaped like a trapezoid.
During World War II, the cemetery was completely devastated by the Germans and its grounds were included in Dąbrowskiego Street. In 1941, the cemetery was closed just after the Jews were deported from Oświęcim. In the first decade after the war, the Jews who returned to Oświęcim took care of the cemetery and in the following years, the wall surrounding the graveyard was repaired. In the 1980s, the cemetery was renovated thanks to the support of Asher Scharf of New York. Sections of tombstones were arranged in memorials built of broken tombstones. At the same time, the Schart family’s ohel was reconstructed. The other ohel in the cemetery covers the grave of Szymon Kluger, the last Jew who lived in Oświęcim. Almost 800 tombstones have been preserved in Oświęcim’s Jewish cemetery.
A: OHEL OF SZYMON KLUGER
SZYMON KLUGER (1925-2000) was the last Jewish resident of Oświęcim.
B: IZYDOR HIRSCH (characteristic features: a tree has grown into the tombstone, it is situated near the fence)
IZYDOR HIRSCH, born on January 4, 1897 in Oświęcim, was the son of Salomon Hirsch, a shop assistant in Oświęcim, and Gustel Hirsh (maiden name Felix.) Izydor was a soldier of Pilsudski’s Legions. The tombstone bears his date of passing, July 23, but not the year.
C: FRADEL HALBERSTAM (characteristic features: a fence around the tombstone)
FRADEL HALBERSTAM (1863-1915), wife of Oświęcim rabbi Lazar (Eliezer) Rosenfeld and daughter of Hayim and Dvora Halberstam from Nowy Sącz.
No. 105: DR. MAURYCY SCHLANK
DR. MAURYCY SCHLANK (1845-1916), was a longtime member of the town council of Oświęcim and was the town and railway doctor.
No. 421: ABRAHAM ABA (characteristic features: freestanding tombstone, leaning against the monument composed of tombstones)
The gravestone of ABRAHAM ABA, son of Asher Zelig (died on October 21, 1757) is the oldest tombstone in the Jewish cemetery in Oświęcim.
No. 421: ERNA and RUDOLF HABERFELD (on the eastern wall of the monument)
RUDOLF HABERFELD (1874-1921) was co-founder and co-owner of the liquor factory, which was established in 1804. Rudolf was a member of the town council in Oświęcim and the chairman of the Jewish assembly in Oświęcim. ERNA HABERFELD (1888-1919) was Rudolf’s wife.
No. 426: PEJSACH HOLLANDER
PEJSACH HOLLANDER was the son of Moshe ha-Kohen Hollander; he owned a wine warehouse on Sobieskiego Street (today Dabrowskiego). He was a member of the town council. Pejsach Hollander died circa 1936.
No. 531: OHEL OF THE SCHARF FAMILY
The ohel was built by Asher Scharf of New York. A few members of his family were born in Oświęcim and eight of them are buried in the cemetery. There are eight tombstones in the ohel commemorating Ruben, son of Moshe Yankiel Jacob Scharf; Klonimos Kalman, son of Moshe Yankiel Jacob Scharf; Menashe, son of Ruben Scharf; Asher Yeshaya, son of David Scharf; Rabbi Moshe Jakob Jankiel Scharf (1887-1969), son of Ephraim, a student of tsadik Hayim Halberstam, who was a rabbi in Oświęcim and Zator; David, son of Yankiel Jacob Scharf; the members of the Sharf family who died during the Holocaust; and one of the builders of the ohel.
Every surviving tombstone is registered and marked with a number on its back. Please refer to the register and map to find a tombstone.
The register and map were prepared by Jacek Proszyk in 1997.