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Relics and Restoration

        As of December 4, 2006, an exhibition recapitulating the international project, “Do Not be Afraid to Know Me” is being presented in the Opole town hall. The project was completed by the Opole OHP (Ochotnicze Hufce Pracy) Association in June 2006, in cooperation with the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland.

 

         The main goal of the undertaking was to uncover traces of Jewish culture in the Opolskie province. In the display there are photos of the surviving cemeteries and synagogues of the province, taken by participants of the project from Poland, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Germany.

 

         Another result of the project is a folder “Relics of Jewish Culture in Opolskie Province” expanded in cooperation with the Foundation. The publication will soon be sent to libraries and museums of the Opolskie province. It can also be obtained from the International Cooperation Committee of the Opole OHP Association. The project was financed by the European Union Youth Program, Action 1 – Youth for Europe.

 

Siemiatycze


 


         We are pleased to inform you that the building of the pre-war Jewish religious school in Siemiatycze, leased by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland to a local association supporting education and labor market development (Stowarzyszenie Wspierania Edukacji i Rynku Pracy), is regaining its previous splendor while serving the local community. The association has already renovated the front elevation and part of the interior of the building, where, in September 2006, a trade school was opened.

 

Gdansk


 


    The Gdansk branch of the Union of Jewish Communities, together with the Heritage Foundation for Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries (with which the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland completed a project of renovating the cemetery in Dubienka, lubelskie province), is finishing the fence around the Jewish cemetery in Gdansk.

 

Losice


 


         We are glad to announce to you the latest update to the website devoted to the Losice Jewish cemetery www.zchor.org/losice/losice.htm  “We Remember Jewish Losice.” It is the testimony of Eddie Weinstein, one chapter taken from his book, Quenched Steel, the Story of an Escape from Treblinka, Yad Vashem, 2002. Also included is a tribute by Mr. Weinstein to colleagues and family members without whom, he acknowledges, he may not have survived.

 

Brzeziny


 


         Vandals desecrated a monument commemorating the Jews of Brzeziny (lodzkie province). Racist graffiti appeared on the plaque devoted to the Holocaust’s victims. The Jewish cemetery in Brzeziny (Reymont St.) was probably established in the 16th century and had been used until the Holocaust. It was savagely devastated during World War II, and even after the war, when a sand mine was located at the area of the necropolis.

 

         Witnesses claim that sand mixed with human bones was used for producing prefabricates designed for building apartment houses. Many tombstones were stolen and used for construction works, e.g. paving banks of fishing ponds. In 1992, on the initiative of the descendants of Brzeziny’s Jews, the area of the cemetery was fenced. Sara Zyskind described the story of the townsfolk of Brzeziny shtetl in her book, Light in the Valley of Tears.

 

Resources:


         1. The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland


         2. www.kirkuty.xip.pl/brzeziny.htm 

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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.

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