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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.
Over the years, former Cemetery Director, Boleslaw Szenicer, and his later father Pinkus before him, work diligently to create an index to replace the destroyed burial records and by the time of Szenicer’s retirement, approximately 50,000 gravestones had been recorded.
Starting in October 2003, Przemyslaw Isroel Szpilman, the new Cemetery Manager, commenced an aggressive project with a goal of documenting all the gravestones and their locations in the shortest possible time. Using a digital camera provided by JRI-Poland, work has proceeded at a brisk pace and the Beis Olam database now has more than 15,000 burials.
Family names, given names and locations have been recorded and, where possible, dates or years of birth and death have been included in the index. Click here for a map of the cemetery and description of section layout and burial policy.
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 in the past, 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.
The search process
In total, there are now more than 15,000 entries to burials in the Warsaw Beis Olam database and these have been integrated into the JRI-Poland database. JRI-Poland will be adding more as they become available.
Search the JRI-Poland database in the normal way, or narrow the search, by entering "Warsaw" in the "Town" field on the JRI-Poland search page. If a match in the Warsaw Cemetery database is found, it will be identified in a separate table in the search results. The search results will link you to a form guiding you how to request information from the cemetery office and, if you desire, photographs as well.
The Beis Olam Research Service
Following up on a successful search of the Warsaw Cemetery Database
Information from Beis Olam, Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw
49/51 Okopowa Street
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