Due to the change of Director of the Warsaw Cemetery, the Cemetery search procedure is currently on hold.The historic Warsaw Jewish Cemetery on Okopowa Street has been in continuous use since late in the 18th century and contains an estimated 250,000 individual graves as well as mass graves of thousands of residents of the Warsaw Ghetto. While most of the gravestones have survived, the cemetery burial records were destroyed by Nazi forces during the WW II occupation of Warsaw.
For almost twenty years, Cemetery Director, Boleslaw Szenicer, has been laboriously creating a new index, section by section, grave by grave. He has continued the work started by his father, Pinkus, almost two decades earlier. To date, approximately 50,000 gravestones - of all shapes and sizes - have been indexed. Family names, given names and locations have been recorded and, in some cases, dates or years of birth and death have been included in the index. Click here for map of cemetery and description of section layout and burial policy.
Initially, time constraints made it impractical to note dates that did not contain Gregorian calendar references on the gravestones. Now with the use of a laptop, future indexing will include more vital information. It is hoped that in the future it will be possible to go back to those stones already recorded and document the Hebrew calendar date and include the equivalent Gregorian date in the database.
Because so many of the 20th century Jewish birth, marriage and death records of Warsaw were destroyed during WW II, information from gravestones can be of great significance to genealogists researching their families from greater Warsaw.
To access this information, family members seeking to honor their ancestors or deceased relatives, or genealogists doing research have had to either visit the cemetery or write to inquire about specific family names or individuals.
Jewish Records Indexing Poland and the Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw
In October 1999, Cemetery Director, Boleslaw Szenicer and Jewish Records Indexing Poland agreed to launch a trial project to make available Internet-searchable indices to gravestones in the cemetery. JRI-Poland is very grateful to our Warsaw resident volunteer, Kate Hibel , who has done all the data entry for the Warsaw Cemetery Project.
For those who know of family buried in the cemetery, these indices will be a welcome short cut for finding graves and obtaining further information. For others who search the JRI-Poland database on a regular basis, there may be an unexpected surprise of finding family surnames and perhaps ancestors and relatives in the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery.
One gravestone can say much. See the importance of a gravestone in rounding out one genealogist's historical picture of an ancestor.
The search process
The inital group of indices to the burials in the Jewish
Cemetery in Warsaw have been integrated into the JRI-Poland database.
Due to the change of Director of the Warsaw Cemetery, the Cemetery search procedure is currently on hold.