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2012-10-01

The matzevos recently discovered in the Vistula are now in the cemetery

The matzevos have been transported to the Jewish cemetery in the Warsaw district of Brodno earlier today. The action was initiated by the Virtual Shtetl portal and the Nissenbaum Family Foundation. Altogether seventeen broken sandstone matzevos have been secured. Some of them still bear the inscriptions of the names of the deceased. On one of the stones, traces of polychrome have survived despite having been underwater for decades.

 

In all probability, in the era of the Polish People’s Republic, the tombstones were used for paving the riverbed in front of one of the Vistula bridgeheads protecting the bridge. Several days ago, a group of archaeologists, headed by Hubert Kowalski, took the tombstones out on the surface. It is expected that matzevos lie on the bottom of the river.

We were informed about the matzevos by the river police in August. However, the level of the Vistula made it impossible for the headstones to be taken out of the waters. In early September, Rafal Rachcinski, a fisherman, spotted a few dozen protruding decorative architectural elements. One hundred meters away, he found a slab with Hebrew inscriptions and immediately notified the media. The discovery drew the attention of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Virtual Shtetl members reached the shoal and examined the site. Without thinking twice, we undertook necessary measures so that the tombstones could be transported to the cemetery.

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