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2012-08-17

A memorial plaque in the Jewish cemetery in Zambrów

Last Tuesday on August 14th, a plaque in memory of local Jews was unveiled in the Jewish cemetery in Zambrów (Podlaskie Province). Presently, the cemetery is undergoing restoration works carried out by a group of US volunteers. Next year, a fence encircling the entire cemetery is to be built.

Ilustracja

The ceremony was attended by town hall members, representatives of the Jewish Religious Community in Warsaw and of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, volunteers and locals. The inscription of the plaque reads that in 1941, the Nazis executed almost 2 thousand local Jews. The rest were taken to the ghetto and, after it was liquidated, they were shipped to the Treblinka death camp.

Before the outbreak of World War II, Jews comprised almost half of the entire population of Zambrów. The Jewish cemetery was set up in the early 19th century and covers almost 2.6 ha. After the end of the war, the cemetery was gradually falling into ruins. Almost one hundred tombstones have been preserved, the oldest of which dates back to 1890.

At present, the graveyard is administered by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage. Since last Monday, volunteers from the USA, who are associated with the US ‘Matzeva’ Foundation, have been putting order in the cemetery, removing rubbish and weeds. The works will last until Friday. Next year, the Foundation plans to fence in the cemetery.

The case of volunteers cleaning a Jewish cemetery goes beyond Zambrów. This year, a few dozen volunteers from Poland, Ukraine, Germany and Israel have restored Jewish cemeteries in Knyszyn (Podlaskie Province) and Strzegom (Dolnośląskie Province). They will all come back to the cemeteries this Fall.

Source: PAP

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