In 1661, Jews made up 9 of the 208 residents living in Markuszów. By 1921, that proportion had grown to 1,011 out of 1,848 town residents.
An independent Jewish community existed here as early as 1766. In the 17th century the “Old” Jewish cemetery was established at today’s ul. Strażacka. It was devastated during World War II, and public buildings were later erected on its site. The “New” Jewish cemetery in Markuszów was established in the 18th century. Prior to World War II a wooden building next to the cemetery served as a caretaker's house or a funeral home. The area was fenced with a wooden fence with an entrance gate on the west side.
During the occupation, the Germans devastated the cemetery and used the matzevot for construction purposes as well as for paving roads and sidewalks. At least two groups of Jews were shot and buried in mass graves in the cemetery. Most of the Jews of Markuszów were murdered during the war. Some matzevot were dismantled after the war by local residents. In the 1970s the area of the cemetery was covered with trees by Wadia Gluzman, the sole Jewish survivor of Markuszów to return to live here postwar. By planting trees, he hoped to prevent the land from being further desecrated.
Of the 2,500 tombstones located here in 1939, fewer than 100 survive. Some have traces of polychrome and on one of the panels there is a view of Jerusalem with the "Western Wall". Today, about 20 tombstones in different condition can be seen. Among those tombstones is that of Sarah Chana Rozenberg, daughter of Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Kochen, a community rabbi and head of the law court (Av Bet Din) in the 19th century. In 2016, led by the Well of Memory Association of Lublin, the Matzevah Foundation, and the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, and Jewish descendants from the US working with the Town of Markuszów, the cemetery underwent its first major cleaning in decades. A memorial monument was established at that time and the monument dedicated in the presence of descendants, town residents, and with the support of Bishop Mieczysław Cisło. The new western fence was installed at the end of 2021 by the partners at the top of this page, with a formal dedication in 2022.
The cemetery and its history was extensively researched by Professor Andrzej Trzciński and by Paweł Sygowski, whose monograph on the cemetery is eagerly anticipated.
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