web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Ostroleka Jewish Cemetery Exposed During Roadwork

Share Button

          The Jewish community in Ostroleka Poland was first established in the 17th century and like all other communities in Poland saw good times and bad. At the beginning of the 20th century the community numbered 6,219. During WWI the Russian Army destroyed the town while retreating and many Jews left for other cities, especially Warsaw. But after the war, Jews returned to Ostrolekaand by 1921 they numbered 3,352, more then a third of the total population.

 

During the Shoah the Germans occupied Ostroleka, and in September 1939, they immediately killed many Jews and exiled the rest to the Russian sector. Many who had stayed nearby in places, such as Bialystok, were later caught in the German trap when they invaded Russian territory in June of 1941.

 

This short history cannot do justice to the glory that had once been the Jewish community of Ostroleka. There were the rabbis, furriers, shoemakers, potters, and shop keepers. The street would have been full of laughing children and adults struggling to make a living. A true community.

 

Today there are no more Jews in the town. The synagogue is now a garage and there had been no sign (until recently) of the cemetery that once held the remains of hundreds, if not thousands, of Jews that once called Ostroleka home.

 

 


Human remains exposed in Ostroleka during roadwork

 

 

It was the Germans who first started the desecration of the Jewish cemetery in Ostroleka and it was the communist regime that erased the final signs of the cemetery. They built a road through the cemetery, as well as a school. Thirty years ago water, sewer and telephone lines were laid on the cemetery grounds.

 

As in all municipal works there is need for renovation and upgrades. A few weeks ago Ostroleka started work in Janusza KorczakaUl, the street that runs through the cemetery. There is a law in Poland that requires all towns and cities to notify the Rabbinic Council for Jewish Cemeteries in advance of any work but in the case of Ostroleka this was not done.

 

In a telephone interview Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, said that it had been bad enough that the cemetery had been destroyed 30 years ago by the communists but now the modern town was going against Polish law and exposing human remains.

 

“This is not the first time a city has uncovered a cemetery during roadwork,” Rabbi Schudrich said. “Two years ago we had a problem in Lodz. The city itself realized the problem, immediately contacted the local Jewish community and came to a solution. They acted in full respect, understanding the importance that the community held for the cemetery and those interred within.”

 

In Ostroleka it is a different story.

 

The work planned goes further then the past destruction. The town plans to replace five lines and install one new one placing the lines deeper then before and even widening the road itself.

 

“They just don’t get it,” Rabbi Schudrich said. “My job is to make them understand.”

 

“It is ironic that the name of the road going through the cemetery is named after the great educator and Warsaw Ghetto orphanage head, Janusza Korczaka.”


 


The latest news from Ostroleka is that all work has been stopped for a few days until a solution can be found that will be acceptable to both sides of the dispute. I have sent a letter to the Ostroleka City Council but have yet to receive a reply.


 


 


 


 


Gura Kalwaria



         It has been reported that the Ohel of the tzadikim of Gur has been vandalized with graffiti. Written in German, “Juden Raus” (Jews out), was painted on the mausoleum, a swastika was painted, and the doorway was blocked with construction material.

 

        The Cemetery in Gur is visited regularly by thousands of Gerer Chassidim every year. Last week the bus containing visitors who had discovered the vandalism was stoned by some local youths. The police have been notified but as of yet have made no arrests.



 



The graffiti on the Ohel of the Gerer Rebbes in Gura Kalwaria 

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Ostroleka Jewish Cemetery Exposed During Roadwork”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer

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.

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.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/ostroleka-jewish-cemetery-exposed-during-roadwork/2009/05/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: