In modern times, since 1740, Jewish citizens of Oleśnica used Jewish cemeteries of nearby gminas - in Miłocice and Twardogóra. In 1821 a local kehilla decided to set up his own necropolis, which was related to regulations issued in 1814 and 1818 by local authorities and ordering Jews to set up their own cemeteries close to their place of residence[1.1]. The Jews from Oleśnica bought land of 0,15 ha by Wojska Polskiego Street where a cemetery was to be built. The first burial took place on 12 March 1826. The cemetery's area was later expanded to 42 a 41 m2[1.2]. A pre-funeral house together with an apartment for a caretaker were built within the cemetery's area and a well for ritual ablutions was dug near the entrance. An access road to the cemetery led behind the barracks of the 8th Regiment of Dragoons, which presently constitutes the so- called red barracks. A part of the road survived until present day.

According to historical records, the cemetery as well as its funeral chapel survived through the World War II in a considerably good condition. After 1945 the cemetery was no longer used, as there were no more Jews in Oleśnica. Soon a devastation of the cemetery started and in 1969 the National Council of the City of Oleśnica decided to officially close it[1.3]. Its area was laid to waste with the use of bulldozers during the expansion of barracks and later on it was turned into a training ground.

  • [1.1] B. Brilling, Die jüdische Gemeinde Mittelschlesiens. Enststellung und Geschichte, Stuttgart 1973, s. 145, M. Wodziński, Hebrajskie inskrypcje na Śląsku XIII-XVIII w., Wrocław 1995, p. 61.
  • [1.2] Archiwum Państwowe we Wrocławiu, Akta Oels, zespół: Urząd Skarbowy Prowincji Dolnośląskiej, sygn. 1412, p. 201-218,.
  • [1.3] W. Mrozowicz, M. Wiszewski, Oleśnica od czasów najdawniejszych po współczesność, Wrocław 2006.