The Jewish cemetery in Zabrze (Cmentarna Street) was set up in 1871. The plot was a gift from the town’s last private owner, Guido Heckel von Donnersmarck, to the Jewish community of Zabrze[[refr:"nazwa"|D.Walerjański, Dzieje Żydów w Zabrzu - największej wsi w Europie do 1922 roku, p. 46.]]. The plot – of the area of 1 morgen – was located in the then suburbs of the town, on the territory of the former 18th-century castle colony. Several months after the establishment of the cemetery, a funeral house was built next to it, which cost 850 thalers. It was the seat of the Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society). In 1892 Max Böhm financed the extension of the funeral house, where apartments for the cemetery’s caretaker and gardener were built. Between 1894 and 1995 the surface of the cemetery was extended to the length of the neighboring evangelical cemetery. The dates on the tombstones corroborate this information. During the next years, the subsequent lots were purchased for the cemetery needs. Last burials took place there in 1954.
About 300 tombstones remained on the surface of 1.5 ha. The oldest tombstones are made of grey sandstone, while later they were made of marble, Swedish granite, red labradorite and sjenite. Typical tombstone decorations and inscriptions in German and Hebrew remained on the tombstones. The most impressive tombstones date back to the 19th and 20th centuries. They are tombs ordered in rows, fitted in the cemetery walls, whose frameworks constitute portals or porticos of semi-columns and pilasters. Family tombs are fitted into the framework of columns, semi-columns and pilasters supporting the entablature with a family name. Special attention should be paid to the tombs of the following families: the Dckos, the Borinskis, the Herzbergs, the Goldmanns and the Leschnitzers. The most splendid tomb, made of black Swedish granite, belongs to Max Böhm (died in 1904). Part of the destroyed matzevot was gathered in one place called the “wailing wall”. Next to the walls at the front and at the back of the cemetery in 1918 Russian soldiers, who used to be kept in the prisoner-of-wars camp in Zabrze, were buried.
On the cemetery territory there is also a mass tomb of prisoners of the local sub-camp of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Local inhabitants organized a trash dump there. The mass tomb was discovered by Mr. Dariusz Walerjański.
A visitor to the cemetery can also admire a beautiful stand of trees, consisting of more than 200 trees. It is mainly composed of robinias, then tall European ash trees, maples, sycamores and others. The oldest trees are three London Planetrees, which were planted over 120 years ago. The scenery is complemented by the common ivy.
Since 1989 the cemetery has been under the supervision of the Social Committee of Care over the Jewish Cemetery in Zabrze.