The New Jewish cemetery in Gliwice (Poniatowskiego Street) was established in 1902 due to the lack of space at the old cemetery at Na Piasku Street. Originally its surface was of 2.5ha.
The cemetery and the nearby funeral home were consecrated on 15 November 1903. The first speaker during the opening ceremony was Max Fleisher, the designer of the cemetery complex, who spoke about the project's history. The next speaker was the representative of the Jewish community, counsel Schuller, who said that the establishment of the cemetery was caused by an extensive growth of Jewish population in the city.[[refr:"nazwa"|M. Żmudzińska-Nowak, Dom przedpogrzebowy na nowym cmentarzu żydowskim - gliwickie dzieło Maxa Fleischera na tle innych jego realizacji w Europie Środkowej [in:] Żydzi Gliwiccy, ed. B. Kubita, Muzeum w Gliwicach, Gliwice 2006, p. 168.]].
It was an impressive neo-Gothic structure, designed by Max Fleischer, an architect from Vienna. It contained a mortuary, a special room for washing the corpses and a hall for funeral ceremonies. Utility rooms, the administrative office and rabbi's room were located in the side wings.[[refr:"nazwa"|D. Walerjański, Zatarty ślad - historia cmentarzy żydowskich w Gliwicach [in:] Żydzi Gliwiccy, ed. B. Kubita, Muzeum w Gliwicach, Gliwice 2006, p. 150.]].
First interment took place in January 1904. It was a funeral of Jehuda Lob (d. 18 January 1904). Two Russian soldiers of Jewish origin have been buried here during World War I. Jefsei Schuster (d. 27 July 1918) and Salomon Swerdlin (d. 15 August 1918) both came from Vilnius.[[refr:"nazwa"|D. Walerjański, Zatarty ślad - historia cmentarzy żydowskich w Gliwicach [in:] Żydzi Gliwiccy, ed. B. Kubita, Muzeum w Gliwicach, Gliwice 2006, p. 162.]].
During the World War II, Germans devastated a part of the cemetery by taking many tombstones away. The funeral home was then transformed into a military storehouse. In 1940, a part of the cemetery was allotted to the neighboring communal cemetery called "Lipowy". That is how the cemetery got its present shape and surface of 1.7ha. The last burials before the war took place in June 1942. 895 people have been buried here until 1942. There were no interments in the next few years because of the deportation of Jews form the city. However, the tradition was resumed in February 1946 and lasts until now.
The cemetery area is divided into 10 different sections, which contain 600 tombstones, with Emanuel Zweig (d. 19 May 1904) being the oldest one. There is also a section of spacious family vaults in the western part of the cemetery. Through the middle of the cemetery runs the main wide alley, which is planted with tall trees. This is actually, where the most distinguished Jewish families have their tombs. The following people have been buried here: rabbi Wilhelm Münz (b. 4 February 1856 in Tarnów; d. 20 January 1917 in Gliwice), cantor Markus Heimann (d. 31 May 1929), Karl Hamburger (d. 29 August 1921), Max Moses Zernik (d. 14 October 1936) and Maria and Ferdynand Zweig (d. 1912 and 1917.)
Other sections of the cemetery have been geometrically arranged in the side alleys[1.1].
The whole cemetery is enclosed within a brick wall with two, forged iron gates.
In July 1930 a monument commemorating 57 Jewish soldiers from Gliwice, who died in the WWI, was built at the end of the main alley. It was funded by the German Association of the Jewish Front-Line Soldiers (Reichsbund Judischer Frontsoldaten Ortsgruppe Gleiwitz.) There is an inscription in Hebrew that says: "Eternal monument in the memory of the city inhabitants, who sacrificed their lives at the altar of love for the homeland. May they rest in peace."[1.2], and in German: „Unseren Kameraden” („To Our Brothers in Arms”).
There is one more monument with an inscription in Hebrew at this cemetery. It says: "Here are buried the saints [meaning: martyrs] murdered by Hitler's brutes. 7th day of the month Shevat, year 5705 (21 January 1945). God shall avenge their blood. May they rest in peace." An inscription in Polish says: "Died with a martyr's death, murdered by Hitler's brutes. For the eternal shame on German fascism.""

After WWII the local authorities put pressure on the Jewish community to hammer out all the German inscriptions from the tombstones and the monument. At the end of 1945, the General Religious Council of Polish Jews (Pol. Naczelna Rada Religijna Żydów Polskich) has gained the Ministry's consent to leave the German inscriptions and in 1946 even prohibited the Jewish community to remove them. Thus the sanctity of burials has been established.[[refr:"nazwa"|D. Walerjański, Zatarty ślad - historia cmentarzy żydowskich w Gliwicach [in:] Żydzi Gliwiccy, ed. B. Kubita, Muzeum w Gliwicach, Gliwice 2006, p. 162.]].
Until the beginning of 1990s, the cemetery was covered with self-sown plants and high grass, which made it difficult to pass. The maintenance works have been voluntarily conducted by Andrzej Główczyk, who brought harmony back back to the necropolis.
In February 2008, the local government of Gliwice signed a notary agreement with the Jewish Community, under which the city authorities took over the decaying building of the funeral home, together with its small surrounding area which is necessary to maintain the building (however without the cemetery).
In the fall of 2008 renovation works have started. The works have been conducted by Zakład Budowlano-Instalacyjny Alfa to the order of the local authorities and under the supervision of provincial conservator. A new roof truss has been set while the old ceramic tiles have been dismantled and washed in special chemical detergents. Most of the metal components have been replaced before winter. During the spring time two turrets (visible from the Poniatowskiego Street) have been renovated and reconstructed.
The building will become the seat of The House of Memory and Dialogue (Maks Fleischer House) and will be used for museum, cultural and educational purposes, with a special focus on the history of Silesian Jews.[1.3].
The cemetery is still open for burial purposes.
Since May 2008 the cemetery is cared for by Grzegorz Kamiński, a history teacher, and by the students of Communication School Complex in Gliwice. The students have participated in the maintenance works at the cemetery by carrying away garbage.
See also:
Dom przedpogrzebowy w Gliwicach


  • [1.1] Bożena Kubit, Miejsca pamięci ofiar wojen XX w. na cmentarzu żydowskim przy ul. Poniatowskiego w Gliwicach, Muzeum w Gliwicach, Gliwice 2009.
  • [1.2] Translation by Tomasz Iwrit -
  • [1.3] [as of 30 June 2009].