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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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The Krakow Bet HaChaim

          During my recent trip to Poland I visited many cemeteries where great tzaddikim are buried. Krakow has three cemeteries: a grassy field in the middle of the Kazmirez Square; the old cemetery located behind the Remu (Rema) Synagogue; and the new cemetery located on Mildova Street.

 

         The old cemetery is filled with the graves of tzaddikim dating back to the time of the Rema (Remu) (1525-1572).

 

         There are many other famous rabbis buried in Krakow – five of the better known are presented here; and the monument in the New Cemetery, dedicated to the Krakow victims of the Shoah:

 

         Rabbi Moshe Isserlis The Rema, zt”l (1525-1572)


         Rabbi Eliezer (HaRofai) Ashkenazi, zt”l.


         Rabbi Yoel Sirkus, the Bach, zt”l (1570-1641).


         Rabbi Yom Tov Lipman Heller (“Tosfot Yom Tov“) zt”l (1579-1654).


         Rabbi Natan Nata Shapiro, the Megaleh Amukot, zt”l.


 


 


 


 


Monument in the New Cemetery comprised of destroyed matzevot.


 


 


 

 


Rabbi Eliezer (HaRofai) Ashkenazi, zt”l, Krakow.

 


 

 


Rabbi Yoel Sirkus, the Bach, zt”l, Krakow.


 


 

 

 


Rabbi Yom Tov Lipman Heller, the Tosfot Yom Tov, zt”l, Krakow.


 


 

 

 

 

Rabbi Moshe Isserlis, the Rema, zt”l, Krakow


 


 

 

 

Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Riminov, zt”l.

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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.

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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