Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Warsaw -- Exhibition Planned on Misused Jewish Tombstones

The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland has posted an announcement that it will be working with the Ethnography Museum in Warsaw to put together a photographic exhibition on a fascinating, little-examined (and rather uncomfortable) topic -- the use of Jewish tombstones (mazzevot) after the Holocaust in improper, even deliberately desecratory (is that a word?) ways.

There are many examples of uprooted tombstones being used as paving stones for roads and sidewalks, as building materials, even as back yard benches... many many tombstones were "simply" smashed -- their fragments have been used to construct powerful Holocaust memorials in a number of locations.

Last week in L'viv, I met Tatyana Kotova, a young woman who is the office manager of the local B'nai B'rith office and introduced herself also as a Jewish tour guide. She took me on a short walk -- just a couple of blocks -- and pointed out paving stones believed to be mazzevot.

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