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2015-05-15

The monument dedicated to Jews of Rajgród has been damaged

The monument in Rajgród unveiled at the Jewish cemetery in September has survived only several months.

As we were informed yesterday by the Commissioner Krzysztof Kuligowski from the Police District Headquarters in Grajewo, a partial destructions of the monument were revealed twice – in November and January. Unidetified perpetrators destroyed the Star of David cut out in the stone block. During the January devastation, one of the plates of the lapidarium was additionally tilted.

Ilustracja

The investigations carried out by policemen from the Criminal Department of the Police District Headqaurters in Grajewo under a supervision of the Attorney Offices in Grajewo and Łomża were discontinued due to inability of indetifying the crime’s perpetrators. 

The cemetery in Rajgór, although deprived of matzevot, is one of rare tangible traces of the local Jewish community. Both synagogues and the mikveh have been destroyed. Several houses, once inhabited by Jews have been preserved in the city centre.

On 18 September 2014, a monument was unveiled at the cemetery. It was funded by Jews coming from Rajgród and the Foundation for Perservation of the Jewish Heritage

The monument was made in Israel and transported to Poland by sea. The monument consists of two parts: a stone, vertically broken block and the cut out Star of David, and a post with the cut out information about the cemetery and the history of the Jews of Rajgród.

It is a solid construction. The rocky block is massive. To break it one would probably need a heavy hammer.

Monika Krawczyk, Director of the Foundation for Preservation of the Jewish Heritage, says: “We do not know what will happen to the destroyed monument now. The monument and its transportation to Poland was very expensive. Perhaps it will be preserved as a monument to the way the memory of the Holocaust is treated?”

After the collapse of communism, monuments and memorial plaques devoted to local Jewish communities had been funded in many places in Poland and numerous Jewish cemeteries had been commemorated and fenced. It is a result of initiatives of Jewish communities but also local authorities and social workes. The cases of devastation are rare, however, each time they evoke outrage.

Author: Krzysztof Bielawski
Source: information materials of the Police District Headquarters in Grajewo and the Foundation for Preservation of the Jewish Heritage.
 

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