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Malbork castle city
Model of the famous restored Castle Marienburg in the city center of Malbork

Jews appeared in Malbork (Marienburg) in the 14th and 15th centuries, however, due to the privilege “de non tolerandis ludaeis”, it was not a permanent settlement. The Jews first settled in Malbork (Marienburg) in 1813. We know that six Jewish families lived in the town at that time.

Hitorism style train station Malbork 2016

In 1814 a religious community was established and in 1826 the first synagogue was built on Szkolna Street, adapted from an old granary. The Malbork (Marienburg) Jews had a special ritual bath (mikvah) above Młynówka. In 1898, at a cost of 40 thousand marks, another synagogue was opened in Malbork (Marienburg), which was the only one in Pomerania to survive the Reichskristallnacht, but was burnt down the next night after this fact was revealed.

In 1880, at the peak of its existence, the Jewish community had 306 members, which constituted about 4% of the town population. Later on, the number of the Jewish community decreased – to 170 people in 1932. After Hitler took power in 1933, only 33 Jews remained in the town.

In 1819, the Malbork (Marienburg) Jewish congregation received land from the town to establish a cemetery. It was a square located in an area called Hoppenbruch near the settlement of Wielbark, which is now a district of Malbork. The area of the cemetery was gradually enlarged in the years 1871, 1883, 1893 and 1927. The cemetery had both stone and wooden matzevot, depending on the social status of the deceased. The funeral brotherhood “Chewra Kadisza” in Malbork (Marienburg) was founded in 1852.

To this day, no traces of the local Jewish community have been preserved in Malbork (Marienburg). There are no synagogues – Rodła Avenue is now in place of the new one, and the exact location of the second synagogue is unknown; it was located in the current housing estate in the Old Town. The mikveh did not survive either. The buildings in the Old Town, where Malbork (Marienburg) Jews ran their shops, were razed to the ground by Russians during the siege of the town in 1945.

Cemetery Jewish Malbork
The area of the Jewish cemetery in Malbork (Marienburg) (photo: Jacek Kmieć)
Google Earth Malbork Jewish Cemetery
(c) Google map/Google Earth AUG 2017

The Jewish cemetery is located at the current street 500-lecia 71 – it is an empty square by the Soviet soldiers’ cemetery, which by the way has also taken up part of the necropolis of the Mosaic faith (Update: On Google map/Google Earth first time AUG 2017 a fence can be seen and the remark “Former Jewish Cemetery”). One of Malbork’s long-time residents at describes the devastation of the local Beit-Kvarot (Jewish cemetery) as follows: “The cemetery was destroyed by the Germans. After the war, there was a potato field on this plot and a small house stood there. With German precision, the area was cleaned of all cemetery attributes. It was certainly used as a building material and maybe there are traces of it somewhere, as for example in Elbląg, where a piece of matzevot (tomb stone) is a staircase next to the former Jewish cemetery in a nearby building”

Quotation of an entry about the Jewish cemetery in Malbork (Marienburg) that one of the Internet users left on the forum “My dad is a native of Malbork and lived near the cemetery – he was not completely devastated by the Germans… After the war there was still a lot there, but the locals robbed it as building materials, and what could not be taken away, they destroyed it”.

Below we present photos of the only remaining matzeva from the Jewish cemetery in Malbork (Marienburg), found and secured by Mr. Tomasz Agejczyk.

Matzevot Marienburg
gravestones from the Jewish cemetery in Malbork (Marienburg)


Text: Jacek Kmieć

Photos: Tomasz Agejczyk, Jacek Kmieć, Google maps, Jews in East Prussia

The Malbork website was created in cooperation with the Internet forum >>

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We are looking for all information about the Jews from Malbork (Marienburg) and their necropolis. We will also welcome reports from people who remember this necropolis from before World War II.

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