New markings of Jewish cemeteries in Poland

POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the National Institute of Cultural Heritage together with local partners organised the second edition of ceremonial unveilings of markings of Jewish cemeteries. The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage is the prime mover behind the project. New markings were presented in five provinces.

The last ceremony of marking of Jewish cementary took place in Olesno (Opolskie Province) on 17 November 2022. Earlier this year, we marked cementaries in Janów Lubelski (Lubelskie Province), Brzozów (Podkarpackie Province), Bączek next to Skarszew (Pomorskie Province) and Stepnica (Zachodniopomorskie Province).

During the ceremonies, newly designed information boards placed in Jewish cemeteries were presented for the first time. The matzevah-shaped boards contain both informative text and a modern form of commemoration – a QR code redirecting the user to a page describing broader characteristics of the necropolis contained in the portal.

In each town, the ceremony was accompanied by a rich educational program addressed to the local community. The program acquainted the participants with a different dimension of the history of their towns and expanded their knowledge of traditions related to Jewish cemeteries. Primary schools participating in the program received an educational tool called "Miasteczko Malki. Muzeum w pudełku" ("Malka’s township. Museum in a Box") which contains replicas of objects and archival photos from the POLIN Museum collection, to be used in an educational board game for pupils in grades 4-6.

By 2024, new markings of Jewish cemeteries will appear in each of the sixteen provinces, and educational workshops addressed to children and youth will have been run.

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Presentation of the markings of cemeteries is a fruit of the cooperation between POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the National Institute of Cultural Heritage. The cemeteries were commemorated as part of the "Marking of Jewish Cemeteries in the Republic of Poland" program, realized by the National Institute of Cultural Heritage and financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

The ceremonies and the accompanying program are realized as part of the "Jewish Cultural Heritage" project (Component IV: "Neighbours – Witnesses. Objects, People, Stories", Priority 2: "Program of describing and marking selected Jewish cemeteries"), made possible thanks to a grant awarded to POLIN Museum by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA and Norway Grants and funds allocated from the national budget. The aim of the project is to protect and popularize the heritage of Polish Jews through educational and cultural programs.

The partners in individual localities are: Janowskie Stowarzyszenie Ławeczka Dialogu [Ławeczka Dialogu Association in Janów]; Fundacja Muzeum Historii Fotografii [The History of Photography Museum Foundation]; Nadleśnictwo Brzozów [Brzozów Forest Inspectorate]; Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Brzozowa-Zdroju [Society of Friends of Brzozów-Zdrój]; Nadleśnictwo Goleniów [Goleniów Forest Inspectorate]; Nadleśnictwo Starogard [Starogard Forest Inspectorate]; Urząd Miejski w Oleśnie [City Hall in Olesno], acting in cooperation with local coordinators, schools and befriended local institutions.

More information about Jewish communities using marked cemeteries in the commemorated towns can be found on the Virtual Shtetl website.



Logo of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish JewsLogo of National Institute of Cultural Heritage

Local partners:

Logo of Ławeczka Dialogu Association in Janów   Logo of The History of Photography Museum Foundation

Logo of Society of Friends of Brzozów-Zdrój  Logo of Brzozów Forest Inspectorate

Logo of Goleniów Forest InspectorateLogo of Starogard Forest Inspectorate

Crest of Olesno

Logo of Jewish Cultural Heritage Project: from right side: logo of Norway grants, logo of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Republic of Poland, logo Polin Museum and JCK project. Below sentence: Working together for green, competetive and inclusive Europe.,,