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TYKOCIN JEWISH CEMETERY

by Tomasz Wisniewski from Jewish Bialystok and Surroundings in Eastern Poland

portions excerpted below with permission of the Author

 

As you continue down the street an uneven stretch of land will come into view, and you will begin to spot mazevas jutting out from the earth -- 450 of them in all -- until you come to the northern boundary of the burial site, where an old wall seems to separate the cemetery from the nearby river. 

 

Not nearly as well known as the town synagogue, the Tykocin cemetery - which from the 17th century to the 20th was tended by the Holy Burial Brotherhood Hewre Kadisza - is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) of the remaining orthodox Jewish cemeteries in Poland. Although the oldest tombstone in the Tykocin cemetery dates from 1754, the first burials took place in 1522 or soon thereafter; Jews from Bialystok were also buried here until they built their own cemetery in 1750. 

 

Editor's Notes

 

The Tykocin Jewish Cemetery is in deplorable condition. There is not fence or wall surrounding this holy site. It appears that no care is being provided. Walking through the Cemetery requires care as cow dung is present everywhere. Apparently, the local people use this "empty lot" to graze their animals. This is the only maintenance provided for the cemetery

Map of Tykocin with location of Cemetery

 

Tykocin Jewish Cemetery
House adjoining the Cemetery View of the Tykocin Cemetery
View of the Tykocin Cemetery View of the Tykocin Cemetery

One of the few upright Matzevah One of the few upright Matzevah

One of the few upright Matzevah

One of the few upright Matzevah
One of the few upright Matzevah One of the few upright Matzevah

 

 

MASS GRAVE OF TYKOCIN HOLOCAUST MARTYRS 

 

The Lopuchowo forest (4 km SW of Tykocin) was the final stop for the Tykocin Jews on August 5, 1941.  On this date, under the command of special delegate Wolfgang Birkner of the Warsaw Gestapo, police units 309 and 316 - "Kommando Bialystok" - together with local police drove the Tykocin Jews out of their homes and then on to Zawady, where trucks transported them to the forest near the village of Lopuchowo. There 2,000 Jewish men, women, and children were murdered. Today, an obelisk commemorates the final tragic chapter in the history of Tykocin's Jewish community.

 

Click for Photos by Stan Goodman of area in the Lupochowa Forest in which the 3000 residents of Tykocin were buried in three mass graves. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the photo to see a larger version.

 


 

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Last Updated on 18 March 2005.