The old Jewish cemetery in Olkusz

Olkusz, Kolorowa
50° 16' 50.556" N 19° 33' 9.504" E

The first traces of Jewish presence in Olkusz come from 1317, the oldest surviving book of the City refers to two houses belonging to Jews. Then the city received from Eliżbieta Łokietkówna the "privilege" De non tolerandis Judaeis, which forbade Jews to settle here. They, appeared in Olkusz again in the years 1546-1547. In 1584 the synagogue was built, and from the same time comes the mention of the Jewish cemetery on the  Przedmieście Sławkowskie (now Kolorowa street). In the early twentieth century a second Jewish cemetery in Olkusz was erected in Jan Kanty street. The old Jewish cemetery was destroyed by the Germans during World War II, who dug an antitank ditch through its centre, and most of the tombstones were transported to the fireproof storeroom in Pomorzany and to the old school square in Piłsudski Street. Gravestones at Piłsudski remain under the asphalt, but some of those that were in the walls of the storeroom in Pomorzany, have recently been excavated and placed in several rows in the old cemetery. The oldest tombstones in the cemetery inventory come (came?) from 1609,1618,1652,1653 Some of them, however, were badly damaged in the the stone factory near Kielce, in the mid 90's, where they were sent for ... renovation. Currently, the city authorities make declarations that the old Jewish cemetery will soon be fenced  and there will be a bulletin board in front of it.
Source: District Office in Olkusz

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