(Adapted from the information signboard to be installed at the cemetery)
This is one of two Jewish cemeteries that were established in Krasnobród. The first one was established soon after the Jews settled here in the second half of the 16th century and was in use until the 18th century. After it was closed down, the Jewish community established a new cemetery on this very spot, which served the Jewish community until September 1939. During the war, both cemeteries were deliberately destroyed and the vast majority of tombstones were used as building material with only a single matzeva surviving.
The cemetery, although preserved in a rudimentary form, is one of the few surviving material testimonies in Krasnobród of the presence of Jews, who constituted the largest ethno-religious group next to the Catholic Polish population and a small group of Orthodox Ukrainians.
The Krasnobród Jewish community, established at the end of the 16th century, had a cemetery, a synagogue, and a bet hamidrash. We have little information about the first synagogue in Krasnobród. Its wooden building burned down in the 18th century and in its place ,a new brick building was erected, covered with mansard shingles, distinguished by its scale from other buildings in the town. Its imposing silhouette is known from a photograph stored in the collection of the Zamość Branch of the Provincial Conservator of Antiquities. The synagogue was destroyed in 1943.
In September 1939, in the battle of Krasnobród, the Polish Army met the advancing German Wehrmacht. As a result of the hostilities, most of Krasnobród was burned down, and many Krasnobród residents, including nearly 200 Jews, were killed during the battle. Those who remained found themselves in a difficult and increasingly deteriorating situation, with all members of the community expected to appear daily to perform heavy labor, including clearing debris, building roads, and burying the dead.
In 1941 or early 1942, a ghetto was established in Krasnobród where Jews from Łódź and Włocławek were resettled through Zamość to Krasnobród. Around the same time, young non-Jewish men were deported to Germany as forced laborers. Non-Jews were later deported to labor camps in Austria. In May 1942, the Nazis began liquidating the Jewish population that lived in the Krasnobród ghetto. The Jews were gathered in a building behind the Dominican monastery and then deported by rail to the Belzec death camp. Some escaped from the transport and returned to their homes, but in July the Gestapo returned to Krasnobród and set fire to the buildings where the Jews were hiding. On October 26, 1942, some of the Jews were shot, and the rest of those found were taken to Zamość. Many Jews who escaped to the forest joined the Polish partisans. Few members of the Krasnobród Jewish community survived.
The plaque was created thanks to the cooperation of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland and Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland.
The plaque was funded by a donation from Karin Orszycki Mika in memory of her father Czeslaw Orszycki, who witnessed the destruction of Krasnobród in September 1939.