The Old Jewish Cemetery In Lodz

See: Lodz Chevra Kadisha Indexing Project of JRI-Poland

 
Reviewed by Chaim Freedman, Petah Tikvah, Israel
email: chaimjan@zahav.net.il
web page: http://www.avotaynu.com/gaonbook.html
March 4, 1999

Although the old Jewish community of Lodz was decimated during the Holocaust, the new Jewish cemetery remained intact.  This cemetery is one of the largest in Europe, comprising about 180,000 tombstones. The new cemetery was established in 1892, following the closure of the old cemetery on ul. Wesola. The old cemetery, dating from 1811, was destroyed by the Germans during W.W.II and by development after the war, thereby desecrating the physical remains of the Jews who had lived in Lodz for most of the nineteenth century.

The memory of those buried in the old cemetery of Lodz could not be wiped out since a list of their tombstones survived.

Right: Entrance to the Old Cemetery on ul. Wesola (non-existing)

"Stary Cmentarz Zydowski w Lodzi: dzieje i zabytki"

(The Old Cemetery in Lodz: Records and Relic Remains)

By Philip Friedman and Pincus Zelig Gliksman

Published in Lodz in 1938 by Nakladem Gminy Wyznaniowej Zydowskiej m. Lodzi

Availability

Contents

This invaluable book records those Jews who were buried in the old cemetery in Lodz between the years 1822 to 1922.

The authors were prominent historians in Poland before the Holocaust. Gliksman in particular wrote a number of books which are of considerable value to genealogists. One example is Ir Lask Vekhakhameiha (The City of Lask and its Wisemen), Lodz, 1926, which presents detailed biographies and familial information about prominent personalities and families who lived in the town of Lask.

The structure of the book can be divided into a number of sections, each providing the genealogical researcher and historian with several types of information.

The book consists of over 500 pages, mostly written in Polish with one Hebrew section.

Whilst a knowledge of the Polish language certainly is beneficial in order to take advantage of and understand all the material in the book, a basic knowledge of familial terminology is adequate for the extraction of genealogical data found in the lists of the deceased. A genealogist's guide to deciphering Polish records is of value.

Polish Introduction

The first section of the book (until page 165) is an introduction written in Polish. Names and dates may be extracted by perusal of this section which is mainly prose, but a knowledge of Polish is required to fully understand this section.

Biographies

The second section (pp. 166-305) consists of capsule biographies of selected people who appear in the book. There are an estimated 300 biographies. Each biography bears a reference number which refers to the sequential numbers in either the Polish or Hebrew lists. These biographies are the most interesting part of the book. The subject of the biography is presented with details of his parentage and ancestry (where the latter is significant), his wife and her family connections, his children and their spouses. Other details include communal activities, occupation, rabbinical positions and compositions, with cross-references to other relatives who may appear in the book. These biographies are in Polish, but it is quite simple to pick out genealogical information. Should the full content be of interest, one can seek a translator, once the relevance of any particular biography is determined.

Polish List of Deceased

The third section of the book (pp. 306-355) is a Subsidiary Death Register (a chronological list in Polish of the deceased) covering the period 1826 to 1893. They are listed in chronological order of the secular date of their death. Only the personal name and surname appears, without the names of parents or other relatives. Of particular value is the inclusion of the age of the deceased.

Index

The fourth section of the book (pp. 356-393) consists of an index to all sections of the book. Grouped alphabetically by surname, the deceased are listed with the page number where they appear (Polish or Hebrew list), or biography. If the person is included in the Hebrew list, the page number in the index is designated with an asterisk.

Following the index there are several pages of biographies which were apparently omitted.

Hebrew List of Deceased

The final section of the book is a Hebrew list of tombstones in the Old Cemetery arranged chronologically according to the Hebrew calendar. The full Hebrew name is given which includes the father's name (in most cases). In some cases a spouse is noted, as are relationships to prominent rabbis. For many of those in the Hebrew list, the surname is given in Polish as is the age. The Hebrew list ends in the year 5682/1922, whereas the Polish list ends in 1893. It should be noted that the Hebrew section of 115 pages starts from the right-hand end of the book and has a separate page numbering sequence.

There are people who appear in the Polish list but not in the Hebrew list and vice versa. As is well known to genealogists who have researched Hebrew Khevrah Kaddishah records from various towns, surnames are often not included, leaving many names in the Hebrew lists which are not identified. Despite these impediments, the positive factors of this book as a genealogical source far outweigh its limitations.

Example

The following is an example of the wealth of information that can be derived from this book. (Free translation from Polish).
No. 1286 (page 232) Jacob Saul Berlinski, son of Lejbusza Berliner from Piotrykow, who was known by the name "reb Lejbusz reb Tejweles." Tejwele was a son of Rabbi Hirsz Lewin from Berlin. Tejwele settled in Piotrykow since he married the daughter of a person from Piotrykow. Jacov Saul married the daughter of the Rabbi of Lutermirsk, Nuty Baharjer and had 3 sons: Tewel in Lodz, Manele in Piotrykow and Naftali Hirsz, who was a merchant in Dabie. A son of Naftali Hirsz, Lajb Berliner, married a daughter of the Rabbi of Kalisz, Chaim Eliezer Waks. A daughter of Lajb Berliner married a son of the Tsadik of Gory Kalvariji, Majer Alter.
An example of the Polish list:
Chronological
Order (per Secular Calendar)

Day/Month

Year
Given Name / Surname
Age at Death
   

1826

 
3412 18.3   Jankiel Jakubowicz 36
3413 15.6   Perla Zimnowoda 30
3414 8.9   Mendel Jagodnicki 60
3415 24.9   Michal Neynadel 50
3416 26.12   Hanna Pinkus 50
   

1827

 
3417 3.2   Ruchla Aronowiczowa 41
3418 14.4   Sura Grosman 72
3419 22.4   Jonas Bernsztat 71
3420 6.5   Sura Jakubowiczowa 90
 

PLEASE REFER ALL INQUIRIES TO THE LODZ AREA RESEARCH GROUP MAILING LIST
WEBSITE PROBLEMS ONLY SHOULD BE REFERRED TO THE WEBMASTER.

Hosted by JewishGen, Inc.
Copyright 1999-2003 Shirley Rotbein Flaum, 2004-2015 Roni Seibel Liebowitz. All rights reserved.
Lodz ShtetLinks site founded by Shirley Rotbein Flaum (webmaster 1999-2004)