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News From Poland

Przemysl


 


            On June 22, 2009 a tablet commemorating the former Scheinbach Synagogue building (today the town library) will be unveiled in Przemysl. The ceremony will take place at the former synagogue at 15 Slowackiego St. It is anticipated that there will be hundreds of guests from Poland and abroad. The tablet is a joint initiative of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland and Mr. Michael Freund of Ra’anana in Israel.

 

Siedlce


 


            On June 6, 2009, pieces of matzevot found in the gate of a tenement house on Pilsudskiego 14 St. in Siedlce were transported to the local Jewish cemetery. During the World War II the Germans used the matzevot from local Jewish cemeteries to pave the town’s main road.

 

Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland provided a transport and a supervision of the tombstone fragments return to the cemetery. The work was accomplished with the cooperation of the Town Office, Municipal Police and the students and teachers of Podlaska Academy who in 2008 carried cleaned the cemetery ground.

 

Leczna


 


            A group, led by “Rainbow” Association of Homeless and Unemployed People in Leczna, in cooperation with Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, is cleaning the Jewish cemetery.  

 

Bilgoraj


 



One of the Chumashim found in Bilgoraj


 


 


            Recently 25 tombstones and fragments were found in the city of Bilgoraj. The Jewish cemetery in Bilgoraj had recently been in the news when a large section that had not been enclosed by a fence had been disturbed during a construction project. The construction had been stopped due to the protests of the Israeli-and-American-based survivor/descendent groups. Along with the matzevot a number of Chumashim and other Jewish books had been found. They were taken to the cemetery grounds and buried with all due respect.

 

Lublin


 


            On June 4, 2009, a group of American Jewish students visited Lublin. Their plans included a visit at the Jewish cemetery, sightseeing at the Old Town and a meeting with the students of local Zofia Nalkowska High School No.7. After the meeting the students walked together to Majdanek. The meeting was organized by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland within the framework of the “To Bring Memory Back” educational program.

 

Bialystok


 


            Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland assumed honorary patronage of “Zachor” Festival of Jewish Culture, which will take place in Bialystok from June 14-16, 2009. The festival is being organized by Poland-Israel Center for Citizenship Education in Bialystok and Jewish Religious Community in Warsaw.

 

Radom


 


            From May 27-30, 2009 the second Jewish Culture Days took place in Radom, organized by the students of the Col. Dionizy Czachowski 3rd High School. The program included lectures, concerts, workshops, movie shows and exhibitions. Third High School is a member of the “To Bring Memory Back” educational program led by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.

 

Reszow


 


            Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland issued a protest letter to the President of Reszow due to the localization of an amusement park at the grounds of former Jewish cemetery near the synagogue in Reszow. The park was installed on a parking lot, built on the grounds of the non-existing cemetery, for the coming weekend by the organizers of the Carpathia Festival.

 

Zuromin


 


            Restoration works are underway at the Jewish cemetery in Zuromin (Mazowiecie Province). Within its framework the cemetery will be fenced and cleaned up and a gate will also be built. A rededication ceremony will take place on July 15, 2009. This project is being realized by the Zuromin Jews Landsmanschaft from the USA and the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.

 

Chrzanow


 


            The police identified the culprits who vandalized the Jewish cemetery in Chrzanow in March 2009. Three local middle school students damaged about 60 matzevot. Total repair cost is estimated in dozens of thousands of zlotys. The youths are now facing charges against family court.            

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More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer
Arnold Fine 2008

I REMEMBER WHEN I first started working at the Jewish Press 18 years ago, Arnie who was in charge of the newsroom, took me under his wing…

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

Growing up in the U.S. during the second half of the 20th century, I, along with most people, know very little about the First World War. The little that I did know was about the trench warfare in France and Belgium. The Eastern Front was barely, if ever, mentioned and usually stated that it ended with the Russian Revolution and overthrowing the Czar.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/news-from-poland-3/2009/06/10/

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