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2013-01-15

What have we done with Jewish graves?

Forum Dialogu Między Narodami and Państwomiasto would like to invite you to a meeting which opens the ‘Co zrobiliśmy z żydowskimi grobami ’ series (What have done with Jewish graves?). The meeting will take place at the office of Państwomiasto, 29 Andersa Street.

The meeting will be attended by Łukasz Baksik and Agnieszka Nieradko and will be moderated by Zuzanna Radzik.

Ilustracja

During the meeting, the invitees will try to establish links between pergolas in Park Leśnika in the Praga Warsaw district and the Jewish cemetery in Bródno and the connections between the fence of the Catholic cemetery in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski with the local Jewish cemetery. Why do human bones protrude from the school playground in Kazimierz Dolny? What happened to Jewish graves?

There are circa 1200 Jewish cemeteries in contemporary Poland; four hundred have not survived. Only one hundred and fifty have more than one hundred graves. The necropolises were first plundered by the Nazis, and after the end of the war they were rearranged into sandpits, school playgrounds and municipal parks. They were overgrown with weeds and falling into oblivion. Jewish tombstones were used by Germans as a building material for streets, back yards and river embankments. Their traces are still visible in foundations, walls and workshops.

The photographer Łukasz Baksik has been recording the fate of Jewish tombstones. ‘Right in the heart of a small town, neighbouring a police station, a fire station and a church, I come across a household with a barn made of matzevos. I see Catholic grave slabs whose Hebrew letters someone forgot to erase. I talk to people who are aware of what they have in their yards but who do not see anything inappropriate about it.’

Państwomiasto will display several photographs by Łukasz Baksik, made as part of the ‘Matzevot of everyday use’ project.

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