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2016-07-22

The Markuszów cemetery no longer resembles a jungle

The Jewish cemetery in Markuszów (Lublin Province) has been tidied up. Yesterday, a monument was unveiled on the grounds.

In the 1990s, Markuszów was visited by Dan Oren from Yale University in the United States. His ancestors lived in this village before the war. He visited the cemetery to search for the graves of his family.

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Dan Oren at the Markuszów cemetery (photo by Wioletta Wejman) 

“When I arrived to Markuszów for the first time, this cemetery resembled a jungle” Oren recalls in an interview with Wiesława Szymczuk from TVP3 Lublin. “One could hardly see any matzevot behind the fence. But I did find the tombstone of my great-grandmother, Sarah Chana.”

Oren has since visited Markuszów a few times. He decided he would take care of the cemetery, which was tidied up with the help of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage, the Well of Memory Association, and the Matzeva Foundation. The team cleared away thickets and removed rubbish.

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The cemetery was tidied up by volunteers from the United States and from Poland. (photo: Wioletta Wejman) 


Yesterday, a monument was unveiled at the cemetery. It features the Star of David and the inscription: “Jewish cemetery in Markuszów. In memory of the Jews who were laid to rest here. May their souls be intertwined in a garland of eternal life. Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage 2016.”

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Bishop Mieczysław Cisło and Rabbi Yehoshua Ellis (photo by: Wioletta Wejman) 

Bishop Mieczysław Cisło, chairman of the Committee for Dialogue with Judaism, was one of the guests at the unveiling ceremony.

“There are no Jews living in Markuszów today, but those who died here – our neighbours – have the right to be remembered,” said Bishop Cisło.

The village is home to another Jewish cemetery established at the end of the 17th century. Today, there are no tombstones there, and nothing to indicate it as the burial site of hundreds of Markuszów’s residents.

Author: Krzysztof Bielawski
Source: Prasz, Pamięci Żydów. Uporządkowali kirkut [online] http://lublin.tvp.pl/26241942/pamieci-zydow-uporzadkowali-kirkut [Accessed: 22 July 2016]; Odsłonięcie pomnika w Markuszowie [online] http://jewish.pl/pl/2016/07/21/odsloniecie-pomnika-w-markuszowie/ [online] http://jewish.pl/pl/2016/07/21/odsloniecie-pomnika-w-markuszowie/ [Accessed: 22 July 2016].

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