Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Jewish Wrocław - Flughafenstrasse - Lotnicza Cemetery

At the end of the 19th century, little room for burials at ul Ślężna (Lohestrasse) cemetery remained. Therefore, Wrocław Jewish community acquired a new land (50 morgue) in the village of Cosel (Kozanów) at Berlin Road (later Flughafenstrasse and currently ul. Lotnicza). 

A wall, gate, and beautiful reliefs surround the overgrown cemetery. 

In May 1900, construction began. On February 14, 1902, the cemetery was dedicated. The designers were the brothers Paul and Richard Ehrlich (creators of the Wrocław Jewish Hospital, now Wiśniowej Street Hospital). 
The huge cemetery chapel and arcaded cloisters of the Bet tahara (Dom oczyszczenia) were to the left of the entrance. To the right of the main avenue was a two-story Board house and nearby the florist, and gardener, gravedigger, and inspector house. 

After 1918, more than 11 hectares were added, reminiscent of a Romantic landscape park. The paths were neither parallel nor perpendicular, but rather were ordered by avenues of rosewood trees. Gardener employed at the cemetery isolated the SE land to grow seedlings and young trees. The greenhouses still exist, but are mostly burnt.). 
WWI military cemetery for 432 Jewish soldiers

In the southern part is a 58m x 28m WWI military cemetery for 432 Jewish soldiers. During WWII, a mass grave of concentration camp prisoners was dug. The office and house were used as a hospital for those in Jewish-Christian mixed marriages. 

Wooden or brick ohels were for great rabbis and tzaddikim and very rarely lay people. The only ohel known in Lower Silesia standing on the grave of a woman is located on the 1909 grave of Mines Ciry Majzel, wife of the famous rabbi of Lodz, Elijah Ham Majzla. This simple, square brick building faces NE. Today, the interior is destroyed and the whole structure covered with ivy. On September 26, 1983 the cemetery was landmarked. The Bet tahara and gallery survived, but the building and chapel were demolished in the 1960s. 

Repeated acts of vandalism are strongly evident.