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Wrought iron gates and related parts from the Jewish cemetery in Tarnow, Poland

Object | Accession Number: 1991.236.1 a-t

Wrought iron, double gate from the Jewish cemetery in Tarnów, Poland, acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in 1991. Jewish settlement in the city and the cemetery date back to the 16th century and prior to World War II, 25,000 Jews lived in Tarnów. In September 1939, in accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Germany invaded western Poland while the Soviet Union annexed eastern Poland. On September 7, German forces occupied Tarnów and burned all of the city’s synagogues. German authorities blocked Jewish bank accounts, closed schools, required Jews to display Star of David badges on their clothes and businesses, and register for forced labor. Jews living in the surrounding area and refugees from Krakow were compelled to move into the city, bringing Tarnow’s Jewish population to over 43,000. Random killing of Jews became common and roads and walls were constructed from tombstones taken from the cemetery. An open ghetto was completed by February 1942, and six months later, it was replaced with a closed ghetto. The first large-scale Aktion occurred in June 1942, when 3,000 Jews were shot and buried within the Jewish cemetery, including 20 who were forced to dig mass graves. Following the final liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in September 1943, hundreds of Jews were shot in the market square and streets of the city, and approximately 6,000 were shot in a nearby forest. Additionally, 14,000 were sent to Belzec killing center, and 11,500 were sent to the concentration camps at Auschwitz, Płaszów and Szebnia. From 1988-1990, the cemetery was renovated and the original gate was replaced with a replica commissioned by the USHMM, who received the original as a gift.

manufacture:  1920-1929
use:  1920-1990
use: Żydowski Cmentarz w Tarnowie (Tarnów, Województwo Małopolskie, Poland); Tarnow (Wojewodztwo Malopolskie, Poland)
Architectural Elements
Object Type
Gates (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Congregation of the Mosaic Faith
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:24:13
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