Szczuczyn is a small rural town located in northeast Poland and was established in 1662. In 1897 3,336 Jews lived in the town. In 1939 over 3,000 Jews were living there. Since 1943 no Jews have lived there.
The Jewish cemetery is approximately 9 acres. All of its burial monuments (matzevot) were removed during World War II and have not been located. Two mass grave sites exist. A structure for Chevra Kadisha use exists that has been converted into a residence. In some areas trees have grown back. During the 1960s a memorial monument and plaza were constructed to honor Szczuczyn’s Jewish residents who perished during WW II. It was funded by members of the New York Jewish community whose families were from there and it was constructed by the city government. The monument text is not historically accurate and needs to be replaced. The plaza is located over a mass grave and needs to be moved.
Proposed Cemetery improvements include:
Transfer of ownership to the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland
Replace the existing plaque with a granite monument
Replace and relocate the existing plaza
Provide a plaque, perimeter fence and landscape stone over the two mass graves
Construct a perimeter fence around burial locations
Install boulders at the property corners
Remove existing trees as needed and permitted
Plan and carry out landscaping. Participate in the Daffodil Project
Erect two interpretive signs about Szczuczyn’s former Jewish community
Consider restoring the existing structure previously used for Chevra Kadisha