Just a few of the Jewish heritage developments in Poland in recent days…
Concern at possible building on Jewish cemetery in Siemiatycze
There is concern that a cellphone company might build a transmitting aerial on the the Jewish cemetery in Siemiatycze and also that a supermarket might also be constructed on part of the site. The cemetery was devastated in World War II and only a few matzevot remain. Most of the site is overgrown with vegetation, and buildings have encroached on part of it. Virtual Shtetl reports:
In July 2014, one of the largest Polish telecommunication companies commenced construction of an aerial mast. During the initial works, some bones were dug out. The works were halted but the investors do not give up.
V.S. reports that local people have protested erection of a transmitter on the site, and studies also indicate that there is a mass grave of Jewish killed in the Holocaust there.
Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland has dispatched several protesting notes. In December, Rabbi Moshe Hershaft and Rabbi Yochanon Stroh from the London Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe met with the Siemiatycze authorities.
New publication on private prayer house in Kielce
The Kielce History Museum has published a new monograph by Krzysztof Myśliński on the private Jewish prayer house on ulica Słowackiego. The prayer house dates from the 1920s and was built for Herszel Zagajski, a leading local entrepreneur who owned a limestone plant.
We have posted on JHE about plans to move the dilapidated building from its current position in the back yard of a tenement house to nearby the Jewish cemetery in order to rescue it from falling into total disrepair and to enable development of the tenement site.
Myśliński’s 28-page monograph describes the architecture of the 54-square-meter building and also describes the surviving wall paintings inside. There are also pictures of these paintings.
Fire damages former synagogue building in Puńsk
Fire on January 7 damaged the roof and attic of the former synagogue in the small town of Puńsk, in northeast Poland near the Lithuanian border, Virtual Shtetl reports.
The simple building dates from the late 19th/early 20th century, and after World War II it was converted into a residence. No-one was injured in the fire, whose cause was not determined.
Clean-up work at Jewish cemetery in Ozarow
In recent days the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ) has carried out clean-up work at the Jewish cemetery in Ozarow and published a series of pictures showing how trees, bushes and undergrowth were cut back.