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The Jewish cemetery in Iława was probably established in the first half of the 19th century, due to the royal decree of 24 May 1814, which ordered Jewish communities to create their own burial places near the town. The regulation was aimed, among other things, at limiting the transportation of corpses over long distances.

The cemetery was established outside the city, on the western side of Geserich See (Little Lake District), in a bend of Bischofswerderstrasse (present Biskupska Street), on a plot of land on a plan close to a triangle, with an area of 0.22 ha.

A fragment of the 1918 plan of Iława with a marked Jewish cemetery. Source:

No further information on the history of the cemetery. During the Polish People’s Republic some of the tombstones formed the hardening of the Mały Jeziorak bank from Mickiewicza Street. The devastated cemetery survived until the mid 1970s, when the hill was leveled. In the place of the cemetery, the town authorities arranged a slag field and then a car park.

In a letter to our editorial office, Iławian F. R. described the devastation of the cemetery as such: “I personally remember the hill on my left… At the edge of the slope, an old German house was hanging, which collapsed when the DOMAR bulldozers scattered the whole hill and took the cemetery with their bones and soil to the restored old German stadium, today IKS Jezioraka. We knew that there were graves on the hill between the old cemetery tree, which could be seen from the side of the road heading towards Wikielc, Karaś and Biskupiec Pomorskie. We did not know, however, that it was a Jewish cemetery. I witnessed as early as in 1975-78 the removal of cemetery land from the slope to the present stands, on which chairs were mounted. I saw a bulldozer dumping the soil with the preserved human skeleton. For me, it was terrifying”.

All the terrestrial traces of the cemetery were erased. It would be desirable to commemorate the cemetery and make efforts to find tombstones.

Link to original web page Cmentarze Zydowski >>
Text: Krzysztof Bielawski

The source:
Szczepański, Żydowskie domy modlitwy oraz cmentarze na Warmii i Mazurach – stan obecny (na tle dziejów Żydów w Prusach Wschodnich i Zachodnich) [online] [dostęp: 15.10.2019].
Szczepański, Cmentarze w Iławie na przestrzeni dziejów – zapomniany fragment pamięci lokalnej, [w:] Iławianie
o historii miasta i okolic, red. A. Błędowska, M. Czerny, Iława 2005.

We are looking for all information about this cemetery, including its appearance in the past and the devastation process. We guarantee anonymity to our correspondents.

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