Jewish headstones used after World War II to help build a gazebo in a Warsaw park are on their way back to a historic Jewish cemetery in the city.
- Poland Names 2014 After anti-Nazi Resistance Fighter Jan Karski
- 'Warsaw Was the Most Beautiful City'
- This Day in Jewish History / The Nazis Tell Warsaw’s Jews They’ll Be Imprisoned in the Ghetto
- Museum of Polish Jews in Warsaw Opens Core Exhibition
- With New Museum, Poland Seeks to Reclaim Forgotten Past as Haven for Jews
- Central Poland Town to Turn Jewish Cemetery Into Residential Complex
- Start-up Aims to Log All 200,000 Gravestones in Israel's Largest Cemetery
The return of the headstones from Praga Park to the Brodno Jewish Cemetery - the largest Jewish cemetery in Poland and among the biggest in Europe - began Sunday. The Warsaw Jewish community and the board of the city’s Praga District cooperated in the effort.
Preparations for the process lasted nearly a year, Jerzy Gierszewski, a spokesman for the office of Praga-South, told JTA. The city allocated about $120,000 for the project.
“The project is important for the simplest reason: It will be a kind of act of historical justice,” Gierszewski said.
The headstones had been used for part of a pergola and stairs at the park. Demolition of the pergola began last week and is expected to last until November 30.
In April, it was announced that the dilapidated cemetery, which dates back to 1780, would undergo a $1 million renovation to be overseen by the Jewish community of Warsaw.
Piotr Kadlcik, chairman of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, said repairs will start this year with the fences and gate.
“In the near future, we also want to put there a pavilion with social facilities for staff, and a space with an exhibition on the history of the cemetery,” he said. “Perhaps we will be able to do it next year.”
Kadlcik said he wants the cemetery to be made available to tourists and nearby schools.