HISTORY OF THE CEMETERY
The cemetery of the Jewish communities of Będzin and Czeladz was founded around 1915, on the border of both cities - at Będzińska street on 1.5ha. Men are buried in 88 grave rows to the right and women in 91 rows to the left of the center path.
Famous Bedzin Rabbi Zvi Chanoch HaKohen Levin ז”ל was buried near the entrance to the cemetery. An ohel was erected on the site of his grave. The ruins of the ohel are still visible. His remains were transferred to Israel after the war by his family.
During the Holocaust about 500 Jews from Bedzin and Czeladz, who were murdered by the Nazis, are buried at the cemetery.
After the Holocaust a small Jewish community was reestablished in Bedzin and Czeladz. Unfortunately, pogroms broke out in many towns after the war. On August 17th 1945 two Jewish men who had resettled in Czeladz, Marian Grossman (21) ז”ל and Szlamek Gelbard (32) ז”ל, were murdered by locals. Both are buried at the Czeladz cemetery. On each of their tombstones it states that they died a “tragic death”.
Dawid Siwek’s ז”ל funeral was the last funeral that took place in the cemetery on March 8th 1948. At the same time the post Holocaust Jewish community was liquidated as the remaining Jews emigrated from Poland.
Most of the destruction to the cemetery took place after 1945. Tombstones were removed, destroyed, toppled over and the entire area was overgrown with vegetation. There was nothing to protect the cemetery from vandalism.
The cemetery was not maintained at all for over 40 years. Moniek Stawski ז”ל, Holocaust survivor and Czeladz native, began with his enormous effort in 1988 and provided his know-how, time and money to restore the completely devastated cemetery. Moniek Stawski ז”ל made sure that the remains of the Jews killed in the Kamionka-Bedzin Ghetto as well as the remains of the Jews from the totally destroyed Sielecka cemetery were moved to the Bedzin-Czeladz cemetary. The Bedzin-Czeladz cemetery today is one of the best preserved Jewish cemeteries in Poland, thanks to his continued dedication and support for over two decades until his passing in 2013.
A New York based genealogist, Jeffrey K. Cymbler, researched the history of the Czeladź cemetery and its tombstones, culminating in a book "Cemetery of Jewish Communities Będzin and Czeladź Poland".
"Museum 'Saturn' of Czeladz, under the leadership of Director Mrs. Iwona Szaleniec, is looking after and maintaining the cemetary which is regarded as an integral part of the history of the town.