Search the Remains of the Jewish cemetery in Kutno

In the 1980s the the municipality of Kutno recovered the fragments of the gravestones of the Kutno Jewish cemetery. Seven hundred fragments were recovered in the surroundings walls and pavement, during years of tireless work. The fragments were cleaned, numbered, photographed and stored in a storage room in Kutno, awaiting a proper moment. That moment came, in mid-2008, when a new group of descendants of Jews from Kutno was formed. Using computer-scanned pictures of the fragments, it was possible to put together nearly half of them into 159 more or less complete gravestones (matzevot). Among these, only a small part displayed a family name, as was usual on matzevot of that time (family names were enforced on Polish Jews at the beginning of the 19th century). For the most part, they displayed only the name of the deceased, that of his or her father, and the date of death. Comparing the matzeva data with genealogical databases, it was possible to recover some of the missing information and especially the family names. This data was added in this database.

About the Kutno Cemetery

The ‘new’ cemetery in Kutno was created in 1793. It existed for 150 years before it was totally destroyed, during World War II. The Nazis sought to eradicate all signs of Jewish existence in Poland – 1000 years of History and culture – and so, every piece recovered makes their defeat even more bitter. While the names of the smaller Nazi criminals have been forgotten a few years after their death, the names of our ancestors remain, thanks to the work of some enlightened people in Poland and to the vitality of Jewish passion for genealogy. This database was made possible thanks to the work of Mrs Thia Persoff, who strained her eyes for weeks on barely readable matzevot and translated the Hebrew text into English.

Source: BROKEN MEMORIES, José Klingbeil, Paris, December 2009

The Database

The on-line database was compiled by Avotaynu. The search is currently possible only in Hebrew