20.09.2020 | Redaktor

Update on commemoration, September 2020

In March 2019 we learnt the story of a Jewish family which had been shot in Poręba Spytkowska forest in 1944. Aleksandra Kotra, Kamila Mamica and Magdalena Piech, students of Brzesko high school, wrote about it when taking part in our project “We know your names”. Because of coronavirus work on commemoration of this grave was delayed, but finally it is being completed.

Monument designed by Damian Styrna is being created by Ivo Cebrat and Urszula Hagno-Cebratis in their workshop.
Brzesko mason Piotr Śledź has already made a concrete foundation for the future monument in the forest.

On September 18, I spoke to the representative of local authorities and school principals in three nearby villages (Poręba Spytkowska, Łazy and Brzeźnica) and priests from the two nearest parishes. I am very impressed by these conversations – we agreed that at the beginning of October I will lead short workshops in all 3 schools sharing with students about Jewish culture and religion and about Jews who used to live in their villages, and students will take part in the commemorative event. I am also very grateful to the parish priests Józef Hołyst and Stanisław Boryczka, who promised to encourage their parishioners to participate in the ceremony and put out posters by their churches.

The ceremony of unveiling of the monument will take place on Sunday, October 18 at 2 pm.

On behalf of our Association I would like to invite everyone to this ecumenical ceremony, during which we want to commemorate not only the family which had been executed at that spot, but also all the Jews murdered during the war in the forests and fields around Brzesko. On the basis of documents kept in the archives of the Institute of National Remembrance, I know that there were over a dozen cases when small groups of Jews had been found and shot by Germans.

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Forum for Dialogue for co-financing this project and to all donors, first of all descendants of Brzesko Jews, without whose financial support we would never be able to realize this commemoration.

Access map to the mass grave in Poręba Spytkowska forest (Poręba Spytkowska is located about 6 km south-west of Brzesko):
(1) – location of the grave
(2) – Poręba Spytkowska
(3) – Brzeźnica
(4) – Łazy

Access is possible from the village of Brzeźnica (along Kiebło Street to the bus terminus) or from Poręba Spytkowska (along Bocheńska Street also to the bus terminus in Brzeźnica). From there one needs to drive along narrow steep street all the way to Wiśnicka street. When coming from Łazy one needs to follow Kiebło Łazowskie Street. In the vicinity of the intersection Kiebło Łazowskie – Wiśnicka (marked on the map) most likely you will need to leave your car, because further road has no asphalt. If it’s sunny and dry, then it’s possible to drive another 500 m along Wiśnicka street. At the last buildings, you need to turn left and enter the forest along a forest road. The grave is on the right-hand side (about 100 meters from the entrance to the forest).                                                                                    

© Anna Brzyska, 2020