Polish students clean up garbage from German Jewish cemetery

Jewish European cemeteries are often subject to desecration by anti-Semites because they are not usually guarded.

By World Israel News Staff

A Jewish German cemetery in the town of Zalewo has been cleaned up by local Polish students, reports Jewish.pl.

According to the report, the students washed the gravestones, removed the surrounding garbage, and trimmed the cemetery’s landscape.

The student body that took up the task was headed by school deputy director Elzbieta Miedzinska and local Catholic priest Michal Bika.

Earlier in the month, Krzysztof Bielawski, an employee of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, was invited into the school to teach the students how to read the Hebrew inscriptions on the tombstones.

Zalewo housed a dozen or so Jewish families at the time of its near destruction in World War II.

Jewish European cemeteries are often subject to desecration by anti-Semites because they are seldom guarded.

In August, a Jewish cemetery in the village of Osoblaha, located in the Czech Republic ,was vandalized. In addition to the toppling and smashing of the cemetery’s headstones, the perpetrators also drew male genitals on one headstone and a smiley face on another.

In July, a Jewish cemetery in Tarnow, Poland was vandalized, and the words “Jews eat children. Jadowniki eats Jews” was painted on the cemetery’s fence.

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The Committee for the Protection of Monuments of Jewish Culture in Tarnow raised nearly $800,000 to restore the 3,000 grave cemetery.

At the beginning of World War II, about 25,000 Jews were living in the city, making up almost half of its population. The entire community was deported to concentration camps or death camps or murdered during the Holocaust. The synagogues of the city were destroyed, leaving the cemetery as the sole remnant of Tarnow’s rich Jewish life.

Earlier in the year, 80 tombstones were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in the southern French province of Alsace.

At the time, Israeli Immigration Minister Yoav Galant lamented the cemetery’s desecration.

“The desecration of the graves in the Jewish cemetery in France reminds me of dark days in the history of the Jewish people,” he said. “I strongly condemn the anti-Semitism in France and call to Jews – come home, immigrate to Israel.”