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The New Jewish Cemetery: ul. Miodowa 55
Established in 1800, the cemetery is situated near the Krakow - Tarnow railway line. Much larger than the cemetery at the Remuh Synagogue it remains a fully functioning cemetery.
During the Second World War the cemetery was closed down and desecrated by the Germans. The cemetery's gravestones were either sold or used as building material. Some were also removed and taken to the Plaszow camp were they were broken up and used to make a pavement.
By the end of the war, the majority of the cemetery lay in ruin. In 1957 a process of "tidying up" took place with a thorough programme of renovation taking place after the year 2000.
Anyone walking into the cemetery will be met by a monument just inside the cemetery gates that commemorates Jewish families and individuals murdered by the Nazis during the war. Just like the cemetery at the Remuh Synagogue, fragments of recovered broken tombstones have also been placed in the cemetery wall.
The cemetery also contains monuments to prominent members of the Jewish community, rabbis, politicians, artists and scientists. One of the most impressive is that of Dr. Ozjasz Thon (1870-1936) who was a rabbi and member of the Polish parliament. The inscription on his gravestone is dedicated to members of his family who perished in the war; his wife who was shot in Radom in 1942, his son in law who also died in Radom, and his grandson who died at the Belzec death camp.
In its present state the cemetery is a mixture of both old and new gravestones and with a variety of contrasting styles, although some of the older gravestones seem to be crumbling into the ground. As well as Hebrew inscriptions on the various tombstones, there are also inscriptions in German and Polish.
Depending on the time of year, the cemetery changes both in mood and appearance. During the summer months the trees in the cemetery provide a welcome source of shade. This, coupled with the greenery that is present make the cemetery a pleasant place to be, somewhere to escape the frantic pace of life and to take a moment to pause and reflect.
In winter the cemetery has more of a forlorn and sorry feel to it and there seems to be less of a reason to explore the cemetery. This would be a great shame as the cemetery is wonderfully diverse in style and provides poignant reminders of the past.
The cemetery is open from 8am to 6pm in the summer, with reduced opening times in the winter months. The cemetery is not open on Saturday or during Jewish holidays. Admission free.