Non-existent cemeteries

– Non-existent Jewish Cemetery in Krakow (Kawiory)

We do not know much about the cemetery. All we know is that it was the oldest Krakow Jewish cemetery in use until 1495. It was located just behind the city walls, on the area of a later settlement and the present Kawiory Street. As historians suspect, this is probably an adapted Hebrew word kewarim meaning the “graves”. Interestingly, as Jerzy Wyrozumski wrote in volume one of Dzieje Krakowa (History of Krakow), the very same name is used with the same denotation in Sandomierz.

In Krakow, from 1915, namely from accession of Podgórze into Krakow, there were two Jewish religious communities in Krakow: the Krakow one with the seat at Skawińska 2, and the Podgórze one based on Józefińska 5. Both communities had their own separate cemeteries. On 10 January 1933, the regional authorities dissolved the community in Podgórze, at the same time appointing the governmental commissioner being the President of the Krakow Community, Dr. Rafał Landau. By the decision of the central authorities, on 1 January 1937, both communities became one, to eliminate the phenomenon of having the only city in Poland with two Jewish religious communities operating in parallel.

– Non-existent Cemetery of the Jewish Religious Community in Podgórze
(Jerozolimska 25)

The Jews living in Podgórze originally buried their dead in Klasno near Wieliczka. Transport of dead bodies, however, was a significant problem at the time; therefore, starting from 1872, attempts were made to obtain a permit from the community in Krakow for burials at the cemetery on Miodowa Street. Such a consent was obtained in 1877. Unfortunately, several years later, city councillors banned funeral processions across the bridge on the Vistula River, and the problem reappeared. In order to solve it, the Jews from Podgórze attempted to obtain some land to be used as cemetery. In 1887, the city authorities agreed to the purchase of land at what was later Jerozolimska 25. The problem was so urgent that the cemetery was opened just one year later.

– Non-existent Jewish Cemetery of the Jewish Religious Community in Krakow (Abrahama 3)

In the late 19th century, the community in Krakow faced the problem of assuring burials because the cemetery on Miodowa Street was almost full. In 1919, and again in 1923, lands were purchased to be used as cemeteries. The decision to build a monumental funeral home was made rather quickly. The project was entrusted to the Krakow architect, engineer Adolf Siódmak. Furthermore, a building for the Chevra Kadisha Burial Society (the Grey House) was provided.   Due to formal and financial problems, the works prolonged and lasted until 1932, when the cemetery was finally opened. Starting from 1941, the cemetery at Abrahama 3 was the only burial place for the Krakow Jews.

During World War II, cemeteries at Jerozolimska 25 and Abrahama 3 were completely ruined.