Warsaw Cemetery Photographs – JHI
Project to index genealogical collections at the Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw in cooperation with The Jewish Genealogical Society, Inc. (New York)
Warsaw Cemetery Records and Photographs: Supplementary List of 3832 Graves
The indices to the Warsaw Cemetery photograph collection at the Jewish Historical Institute were added to the JRI-Poland database in December 2001. These are indicated by a “JHI” source key in the search results. To understand the significance of this valuable resource, it is important to be familiar with the main Warsaw Cemetery project launched in December 1999.
Former Warsaw Cemetery Manager, Mr. Bolek Szenicer, like his father Pinkus before him, worked diligently to reconstruct the Warsaw Cemetery records destroyed by the Nazis. In 2004, new Cemetery Manager Yisroel Szpilman continued the work and more than 60,000 gravestones have been fully or partially indexed and are searchable on the JRI-Poland website.
These additional 3832 indices are from an unusual source. In the late 1960s, the City of Warsaw drew up plans to extend Anielewicza street (formerly Gesia street) to connect with Mlynarska Street through the southern section of the cemetery. Gravesites in sections 1, 2, 3, 3a, 4b, 91, 92, 97, 99 and 99a were to have been removed and in preparation the stones were photographed, and inscriptions were deciphered and recorded. This work was carried out by Warsaw University students.
However Pinkus Szenicer, then manager of the cemetery, expressed strong opposition to the street extension plans and successfully campaigned to have them cancelled. Ultimately, the photos and documentation were turned over to the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw.
In the 50 years since the photos were taken, many gravestones have deteriorated and some were stolen or vandalized. Thus, some photos in collection will be the only record of the stones existance.
Note: In 2014, Jewish Records Indexing – Poland and the Foundation for Documentation of Jewish Cemeteries (FDJC) in Poland signed a collaborative agreement to enable searches of the JRI-Poland database to display links to transcriptions and photographs of 59,000 gravestones in the FDJC website. For information on the FDJC Project, click here.
Indexing the Photographic Collection
In late 2001, the JRI-Poland / JGSNY project at the Jewish Historical Institute, in cooperation with the Ronald S. Lauder Genealogy Project, completed the laborious task of examining and indexing each photo and extracting key information. Each entry includes the surname and given name, date of death and grave location. Many entries also include father’s name. During the data entry process, files of photographs were arranged for future easy access. There are more than 2700 different family names in this collection.To view the surname list, click here.
How to Obtain Copies of Photographs
If you have found a name or names of interest in the Supplemental Cemetery List, you can obtain photocopies of photographs from the Jewish Genealogy & Family Heritage Center at The Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute. Click here for the order form.
Please make sure that the names for which you are seeking information are on the Supplemental Cemetery List, rather than on the list of the main Warsaw Cemetery Project, for which there is a different ordering procedure. To ensure proper handling of your request, please use the request form below.
To obtain information about the current condition of a gravestone or to arrange for permanent care of a grave site, see the main Warsaw Cemetery page.