Thursday, April 19, 2012

What happened to the Jewish Cemetery? Also, News Item! The Book Is Complete

The citizens of Radziejow have now did a "180" and are confronting the sad history of the Jewish Cemetery.  The 2012 seminar at the public library in Radziejow revealing tombstones found, indicates a move in the proper direction. However, let us face the facts.  The tombstones are readily visible throughout the town in sidewalks, walls, and other places.  Please read the two articles I found on the net that give a history of what happened to the cemetery.  Then you be the judge.  You decide whether the citizens of Radziejow have made every effort to honor there fallen fellow citizens.

Article One :
CEMETERY: Normal 0 Establishment of the Jewish cemetery in Radziejow probably was in the early 19th century. Located in the southern part of the city at the end of the current street Ogrodowej and Sosnowej. During WWII, the Germans ordered destruction of the cemetery. On Sunday, April 22, 1942, a few days after the deportation of remaining Jews from Radziejów, the Gestapo Beck arrived at the estate called Gory and told the workers to destroy the Jewish gravestones in the cemetery. Even today, fragments of gravestones are in the steps of houses in the village. Thieves and vandals and the local authorities destroyed whatever remained of the gravestones after the war. The district council in 1956 marked the part of the slope on which the cemetery was located for excavating gravel. This continued for several years leaving a huge excavation site. Finding this site is very difficult. A few dozen meters from the road, a path leads through pine forest and the vegetation choked edge of a ten-meter high slope. Human bones may be visible.

 Article 2 -translated from Polish by Google: (the automated system causes some sentences to be hard to understand)
. During World War II on the orders of the German cemetery was vandalized. We quote here from a letter was sent in 1992 by one of the residents Radziejow the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw: "On Sunday, 22 April 1942, so a few days after the deportation of the remaining Jewish population Radziejow, Beck Gestapo came to the estate known as the Mountain, drove people to work and told them to destroy gravestones in a Jewish cemetery. So far, there are still parts of gravestones here and there, used as the entrance steps to the houses. "Stolen from the land of tombstones were used for construction work. . Launched by the Germans after the liberation, the destruction was completed by vandals and local authorities. Decision the district council in 1956, part of the slope on which the cemetery was located, was spent on gravel excavation.  For several decades hence selected soil volume of about two hundred and fifty in length, width and height of one hundred and ten meters.  Below this point, decorated in town traffic.
. Today, the Jewish cemetery in Radziejów can bring only well-oriented guide - no current map does not show the square as the resting place of former inhabitants. From the street by a few meters the path leads through a pine forest. . Somewhere along the way we cross the invisible border of the cemetery today to reach the edge of a ten meter high slope covered with bushes. . In vain at this point look for the slightest hint of infrastructure of the cemetery. When I asked my guide about the fate of the remains of those buried here, there was only an expression of embarrassment on his face. Another spoke of once lay scattered about here and there of human bones.

. In early 2012, our editors received several photographs of gravestones, found throughout the city.  Currently, activities related to their respective security.
tekst: Z. Sołtysiński & K. Bielawski text: Z. Sołtysiński & K. Bielawski
zdjęcia: Z. Sołtysiński, T. Świerczyński Photo: Z. Sołtysiński, T. Swierczynski
Radziejów - Jewish cemetery

  1.     After more than twenty years in the planning and writing my book will soon be completed about the Jews of Radziejow and my father's journey of survival during the Holocaust.  As of this date the working title of the book is The Holocaust Effect - Three Generations of Jewish Survivors.  The book consists of three sections.  The most important section is, of course, is my father's section.  That section now in its final editing. It is by far the longest and most detailed section. 
          It begins by exploring life in Radziejow before the War.  It goes into great detail concerning "Yiddishe Street", business, schools, HaShomer Hatzair Youth, public schools, and the relationship between Poles and Jews. 
          It then moves on to the WWII.  It tells about the initial exodus of many Jews from Radziejow when the Germans invaded.  It follows the battles fought and lost by the brave Poles as they tried to stop the most powerful military in the world.  It then returns to the Jews back to Radziejow and their life under the occupation. It details the personal story of the Najmans and their experiences trying to survive.   It explains how the Ghetto was set up and then administered.  It tells about the Volksdeuthe and their relationship with their Jewish neighbors.  Then it explains about the indignities suffered by the Jewish population under the constant harassment by the Gendamiares.  What follows is the actual forcing of Jews into work battalions.  Then the arrival of German businessmen looking for slave laborers.  As a result, young healthy Jews from the town were forced to work at a lagger named Luejew.
          What followed what the liquidation of the ghetto.  The gassing of the Jews and burial in the forest near Kolo.  Then the liquidation of the lagger.  Then the book focuses on my father's escape and then his nearly two year life on the run.  He tells of the many Poles that helped him and those that tried to kill him.  Then it tells of my father's final rescuers.  How they kept him alive. Then when the War ended it was up to my father to keep the rescuers alive. 
         It then moves to his life in Radziejow after the War.  How he was a police officer living in Radziejow and working in Alexandrow.  Then it tells of the violence in Post WWII Poland with the Communists fighting the Nationalists and the plight of the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust as well as the Volksdeutche.
          The book then moves to his escape from assassination and his journey to live in Bergen-Belson Refugee Camp.  The book describes the life at Bergen-Belson.  Finally, it ends with his moving to the United States and setting up his life for the remainder of his years.
         The second part of the book describes how the Holocaust effected my life and the decisions and roads I decided to travel on.  The final part of the book is an attempt to find G-d's presence through his role during the Holocaust.
         The book has an emphasis of keeping the time-line moving with the actual military events taking place.  The book has several photos of the Jews in Radziejow, the Nazi occupation, and the destruction of Jewish life in Radziejow.
         The book is very timely with the recent recognition of the Jews of Radziejow by its town officials.  This recognition includes the museum set up at the library, educational programs and the recent official plaque dedicated to the Jews of Radziejow.
         My hope is that by publishing this  historical record it will honestly bridge the gap between those that assume all Poles helped the Nazis, when in reality, thousands of simple Poles helped Jews at the same time that they were suffering under the Nazi occupation.

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