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2013-01-08

Milówka village releases a brochure on a Jewish cemetery

The Milówka administration has released a brochure about a local Jewish cemetery. The description of the graveyard is accompanied by an article on the history of Milówka Jews. The brochure will be distributed among tourists and locals at the Municipal Cultural Centre in Milówka free of charge, opening the series of publications entitled ‘Szlak miejsc pamięci i zabytków w sołectwie Milówka’ (The trail of memorial sites and monuments in the Milówka region).

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The brochure was edited by the governor of the Milówka village, Jan Kąkol. When asked about the origins of the idea, Jan Kąkol says: ‘I have been familiar with the history of Milówka Jews for a long time because my parents and grandparents have recalled them with respect. Although I have a natural sciences education, I am interested in history and cultural anthropology. It should be stressed that the contribution of Jews to the legacy of our country is invaluable. This fact should be continuously emphasized. Since you cannot help those who died or were killed, what can be done is to nurture the remembrance and resting places of those people. I am not the only one in Milówka who is interested in this subject. The cemetery and its condition has drawn the attention of many inhabitants, who initiate many activities. It would be hard to list all the people, but much has been done by Julian Szczotka, former Auschwitz prisoner, who has recently died at the age of 100; and his daughter Ewa Kojro, who have been in touch with descendants of local Jews. Likewise, young people are fascinated by Jewish legacy here, such as Stefan Jopek, who has been collecting memories of old inhabitants and their descendants for years.”

In many Polish towns and villages, Jewish cultural monuments are still obliterated and perceived as a burden of the past. Oftentimes, in official Internet websites of some municipalities and towns and in official guide books, information regarding attractive and valuable objects related to Jewish history is missing. The initiative of Milówka village administration shows that it does not have to be like that and that Jewish cemeteries and synagogues do form part of our shared legacy and may be used for promoting towns or regions.

Click here to download the electronic version of the brochure.

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