Mielec Cholera Cemetery

photo of the Jewish Cholera Cemetery on ul. Kolejowej — photo courtesy Muzeum Historii Fotografii “Jadernowka”

Cholera Cemetery of Mielec

(Cmentarz cholery w Mielcu, formerly on ul. Kolejowej, Mielec, PolandLink to Google Map)

Overview

The “Cholera Cemetery” was formerly located on ul. Kolejowej in Mielec. It was used primarily to quickly bury victims of the cholera epidemic of 1873. It is estimated that between January and September 1873, over 200 people who died of cholera were buried there. 

How to Visit

Letter dated January 26, 1963 from a government office in Rzeszów
Letter dated January 26, 1963 from a government office in Rzeszów, stating that the ‘Jewish choleric cemetery’ was destroyed by the ‘occupier’ (i.e. the German Army during WWII), and after ‘liberation’ (i.e. after May 1945), a ‘transport base was built in the former cemetery’. [image courtesy Krzysztof Bielawski]

You cannot visit this cemetery as it no longer exists.

History

This is an excerpt from an article written by historian Andrzej Krempa describing the history of the cholera cemetery in Mielec:

“The cholera epidemic erupted in Mielec at the beginning of 1873. The first two victims of the epidemic of the Jewish community were buried on January 3 (Joseph Gross and Miriam Esther Gross)*. In January, 108 people of Jewish nationality were buried, in February 22 people, in March 8 people for cholera and 2 people for typhus. In the next two months, the epidemic has already waned, in April there were only 8 burials, including 6 for typhus, while in May and June there were no fatal cases. In July, 6 people who died of typhoid and one person for cholera were buried in the cemetery. Unfortunately, in August 1873, there was a recurrence of the epidemic, 46 people died, including 6 people suffering from typhus. September was the last month of the burials of the Jews who died for cholera – 13 people were buried then. The last person buried in the cemetery was Shprintze Kanner, who died of typhoid in October. All 213 people were buried in one grave, without tombstones, a mound was built. On the preserved maps of Mielec from 1887, the cemetery is marked as “a trench”.”

The full article can be viewed in PDF here (in Polish), and via English translation here.

* Archiwum Akt Nowych w Warszawie (dalej: AAN), Zespół 2/15/0, Ministerstwo Opieki Społecznej w Warszawie, syg. 704, Zamknięcie cmentarza Żydowskiego w Mielcu. Odwołania, obwieszczenia, plan sytuacyjny terenu, wyciągi z metryk zmarłych. Opinia sanitarna.

Maps

You can see the location of the cholera cemetery on this map of Mielec from 1936 and from this aerial photograph from 1942:

Burials

There is a comprehensive list of people who were buried in the Jewish Cholera Cemetery. It was compiled by researcher Krzysztof Bielawski. Below are some enlarged images of the photo at the top of this page showing some visible stones.