In the second half of the 14th century a cemetery was established and became the main burial ground for Jews from surrounding municipalities. The first documented references to the Świdnica Jewish cemetery date from 1382[1.1].
In 1370 Princess Agnieszka issued a protective letter in which she proclaimed that the cemetery in Świdnica would be the only necropolis in her principality, to be used by Jews from surrounding towns, Dzierżoniowo, Jawor, Niemcza and Strzegom, and perhaps also Ząbkowice and Ziębice[1.2].
It was located near the main road to Strzegom, and three gravestones from it survive to this day[1.3].
The demolition of their cemetery, whose tombstones were used as building material, accompanied the destruction of their community.
- [1.1] M. Wodziński, “Średniowieczne nagrobki żydowskie ze Świdnicy” (Medieval Jewish tombstones in Świdnica), in K. Matwijowski, ed., Z historii ludności żydowskiej w Polsce i na Śląsku (The history of the Jewish population in Poland and Silesia) (Wrocław, 1994), p. 33.
- [1.2] F. Rosenthal, “Najstarsze osiedla żydowskie na Śląsku” (The oldest Jewish settlements in Silesia), Biuletyn ŻIH (Bulletin of the Jewish Historical Institute), 34 (1960), pp. 15-16.
- [1.3] See M. Brann, Geschichte der Juden in Schlesien, Breslau 1896-1917 (Breslau 1907), p. 22, n. 2 and p. 34, n. 6.