20.04.2020 | Redaktor

Project of the monument on the grave of the murdered Jewish family

We’ve been working on commemoration of the grave of a Jewish family murdered in 1944 in Poręba Spytkowska-Brzeźnica forest for well over a year already. During this time, we’ve managed to record testimonies of 2 witnesses, determine the exact location of the grave with the help of Alexander Schwarz from the Rabbinical Commission on Jewish Cemeteries, obtain the consent of the owner of the plot to commemorate the grave and raise funds for the future monument (first of all due to the support of the descendants of Brzesko Jews and a grant from the Forum for Dialogue). And Damian Styrna – the author of the projects of two monuments that we erected on mass graves at the Brzesko Jewish cemetery in 2017 and 2018 – has been working on the project of this commemoration for the last several months.

Originally we planned to unveil the monument on Sunday, June 14, but due to the epidemic we had to move this ceremony to autumn. However,  I can share with you the project of this commemoration.

The whole area of the grave will be filled with pebbles, and the border will be made of black granite. A large stone with a matzevah half-sunk in it will be put behind the grave. The upper part of that matzevah will have a relief: a broken tree and bird flying from that tree.
Around the grave there will be an inscription in Hebrew and Polish (the text was suggested by prof. Jonathan Webber):

Here lie the bodies of a man and his wife together with their two young children who were murdered here because they were Jews. It was in 1944, during the time of the Holocaust. Their names are not known, nor where they were from. They had been in hiding near here for a year or more but in the end their identity as Jews was discovered and made public and their fate became that of so many other Jews in the incomprehensible tragedy of hatred and violence that marked those terrible times. Let us pray for their souls and for an end to such hatred.

Future monument, detail. Author of the project Damian Styrna
Location of the grave in Poręba Spytkowska-Brzeźnica forest.
Grave of the murdered Jewish family, January 2020.
Project of the monument, author Damian Styrna.

I trust that souls of these people – and of so many others that lie in unknown graves scattered in Polish fields and forests – will finally find some peace.

© Anna Brzyska, 2020