Kazimierz New and Old Jewish cemeteries in Krakow, Poland

In Krakow there are two historic Jewish cemeteries. The old cemetery called Remuh Cemetery is indeed very old as it was established in 1535 in the inner Krakow Jewish neighbourhood of Kazimierz. In 1800 the Austrian authorities forced the cemetery to close but the New Jewish Cemetery was opened a couple of blocks away on a larger block of land.

Vistors walking around the Old Jewish Cemetery -  Remuh Cemetery

Visitors walking around the Old Jewish Cemetery – Remuh Cemetery

Broken and replaced tombstones in Remuh Cemetery

Broken and replaced tombstones in Remuh Cemetery

The Kazimierz neighbourhood has become a tourist attraction and both cemeteries were busy when I visited. Jewish restaurants, memorials, bookshops along with souvenir stores have popped up thanks to Steven Spielberg filming “Schindler’s List” here. Tour groups come by the bus-load to look around this district. I came for the cemeteries, which are free to visit, unlike the Jewish Cemetery in Prague.

Fence around the Old Synagogue displaying the Star of David

Fence around the Old Synagogue displaying the Star of David

During the German occupation in the Second World War, Jewish cemeteries were desecrated and tombstones were sold to stonemasons or used for construction or as paving stones for supply roads. When renovation of the two Krakow Jewish cemeteries was undertaken in 1957, a small number of the lost tombstones were recovered and these fragments were placed in cemetery walls.

A wall in the New Jewish Cemetery made up of old tombstone fragments.

A wall in the New Jewish Cemetery made up of old tombstone fragments.

The newer cemetery is still operating and has many symbolic graves and memorials for Holocaust victims. Not surprisingly dedicated and paid for by the Jewish disporia around the world, predominately American. Most of the new headstone memorials have inscriptions written in Hebrew, Polish and German.

A memorial written in three languages.

A memorial written in three languages near the entrance of the New Jewish Cemetery

Layers of autumn leaves cover the New Jewish Cemetery

Layers of autumn leaves cover the New Jewish Cemetery

Note that both cemeteries are closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays.

Related posts:

Photo essay: Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland

Mirogoj Cemetery – Zagreb, Croatia

Walhalla – An old mining town cemetery, Victoria, Australia.

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2 thoughts on “Kazimierz New and Old Jewish cemeteries in Krakow, Poland

  1. Pingback: Mirogoj Cemetery – Zagreb, Croatia | World City Wanderlust

  2. Pingback: Walhalla – An old mining town cemetery, Victoria, Australia. | World City Wanderlust

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