|ul Okopowa 49/51|
Postal Code: 01-043
Phone: 22 838 26 22
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Opening hours: Mon. – Thurs. 10am - 5pm
Fri. 9am – 1pm
Sun. 11am – 4pm
Closed on Saturday and Jewish holidays.
There is an admission fee that is used to support restoration of the cemetery.
To visit the cemetery, men must cover their heads.
To get there - using either Centrum or Warsawa Centralna (main train station) as a starting point, take tram #22 Piaska until you reach stop 19 - Zydowski. You will see the beginning of the wall and the entrance on the left side. The entrance is through a small gateway on Okopowa Street, opposite the end of Anielewicza Street.
Established in 1806 the cemetery occupies some 33 hectares (83 acres) and contains somewhere around 200,000 to 250,000 graves and tombs. It is one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe and one of the few to be still in use today. Although the Nazis allowed the cemetery to survive, they did destroy all documentary records of Warsaw’s Jews. As a result, the cemetery is considered to be the last remaining archive. Abandoned after the war, it has been allowed to become overgrown by brush and trees, some of which have grown around some of the tombstones. Since 1996 the Friends of the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw have been working to raise money towards to cemetery’s upkeep and restoration and to create an index of all those who are buried there.
The cemetery is divided into more than 100 sections and is the final resting place for many notable Jewish Polish personalities, great Rabbis, such as Rav Chaim Soleveitchik and Rav Avraham Mordechai Alter to the creator of Esperanto, Ludwig Zamenhof. Just by identifying the cemetery section and the type of headstone you can discover more the past. Orthodox Jews had separate sections for men and women and only Hebrew lettering will be found on the stone. The more assimilated Jews were buried in family plot sections and had headstones with Polish lettering and Gregorian dates.
When the Warsaw ghetto was sealed in November 1940, this cemetery was enclosed inside the ghetto. Though the ghetto wall surrounded the cemetery, there was only one entrance from the ghetto into the cemetery; mourners needed special passes to get past the guards posted at this entrance. In the beginning of the ghetto, ghetto residents who died were buried in individual graves, but soon the deaths in the ghetto were so numerous that the dead were buried in mass graves.
It abuts the Powazkowski Cemetery