Jewish Cemeteries  


There were two cemeteries in Lunna and one in Wola near Zaleski. The "old" cemetery in Lunna became active 350 years ago and the "new" was active from the end of the 19th century until September 1941, when the Jews of Lunna-Wola were forced by the Nazis to move into the Wola Ghetto. The Wola cemetery was active until the Jews were deported from the Wola Ghetto to Kelbasin transition camp (on November 2, 1942).

Headstones at the "new" cemetery in Lunna (pictures taken before WW2)


  Headstone of Basha Yogiel
(1934). Standing: Kalman
Yogiel (Basha's son)
From the collection of Eli Shalachman



Headstone of Kadish Friedman (1936). Standing: Shneier-Zalman son of Kadish Friedman (right) From the collection of Shulamit Friedman  




Headstone of Yehoshua Eliashberg. Around the headstone are members of Kosovsky and Eliashberg families. (photo taken by Yitzchak Eliashberg, 1937)  


Headstone of Moshe Eliashberg
(photo taken by Yitzchak Eliashberg, 1937)


Chana Arkin poses at the gravestone of her husband Moshe Yudel in the Lunna cemetery (ca. 1930)
gr_pages/gr_portraits.html [#grd-p-2]

Note: Moshe Yudel Arkin was buried in Lunna cemetery, and not in the cemetery in Grodno city.



Headstone of Feigel Kosovsky
(photo taken by Yitzchak Eliashberg, 1937)


The gravestone of Avraham Tzvi Sorin
From the collection of Reshka (Sorin) Janowski



Funeral of Henie Yogiel's relative (ca. 1934)
From the collection of Henie (Yogiel) Margulis



In 1958, Yaakov Margulis, a former Lunna resident who moved to Russia in 1916, went to visit in Lunna. He took photos in Lunna and sent them to his brother Aba Margalit who was residing in Tel Aviv. Yaakov Margulis found that the old cemetery was destroyed, reportedly by the Russians. The "new" cemetery looked like a fenceless field with broken stones scattered in the grass.


Lunna Cemetery (1958). From the collection of Aba (Margulis) Margalit

In 1997, Harriet and Harvey Kasow went with an organized tour on a visit in Belarus. They took a private trip to Lunna and managed to see the "new" cemetery in Lunna. They reported that it was extensive and untended but not destroyed. Its location "out of town" (two streets from the main street) and next to the Christian cemetery, probably explains the benevolent neglect.

Lunna Cemetery (1997, Harriet and Harvey Kasow)

In 2000, Sandy Eisen and her brother, Alan Eisen, traveled to Lunna and visited the two cemeteries in Lunna. They took several photos of headstones scattered in the forest where the "old cemetery" was. One headstone had the inscription of Moshe son of Reuven, who died on the fifth day of month Tevet 5588 (1828).

        Two headstones in the "old" cemetery in Lunna (2000, Alan S. Eisen)

In 2005, an expedition led by Rabbi Boraz from Dartmouth University, USA, rescued tombstones in the "new" cemetery of Lunna. They not only constructed a fence around the cemetery and cleaned up the area, but they also catalogued a large number of the headstones. The earliest catalogued headstones are from the 1890s (#51, #122, #150 and #210). The latest headstones included Sarah Basha Kalman, who died on the 28th day of Adar 1, the year 5700 (1940) and Elka, daughter of Yaakov Ha'Cohen, who died on the 14th day of the month Tamuz 5702 (July 9, 1941) and was a victim of the war.

In August 2006, I accompanied Eliezer Eisenshmidt, his granddaughter Liat, and Mira Feingold (her father Aba Margalit was born and grew up in Lunna) on a visit to Lunna. We found that many gravestones in the "new cemetery" are sunk in the ground and others are hidden beneath high wild grass.
Selected photos can be seen at:
Hopefully in the future more restoration work will be done and more stones can be reset.

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Compiled by Ruth Marcus & Aliza Yonovsky Created May 2007
Updated by rLb, March 2020
Copyright 2007 Ruth Marcus

All the photos are presented by courtesy of the families and are not allowed to be reproduced without their permission.

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