Vandals destroy monument to Polish Jews killed in Holocaust
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Vandals destroy monument to Polish Jews killed in Holocaust

Incident at cemetery in Rajgrod targets memorial to community exterminated in 1942

Rajgrod Railway Station in Poland (photo credit: CC BY-SA (GRAD), Wikimedia Commons)
Rajgrod Railway Station in Poland (photo credit: CC BY-SA (GRAD), Wikimedia Commons)

An act of vandalism destroyed a monument commemorating a Polish Jewish community.

Police are investigating last week’s incident at the Jewish cemetery in Rajgrod, a town of some 1,700 in northeastern Poland. The cemetery does not have security monitoring.

The monument was unveiled last September by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland and Israeli Avi Tzur, whose ancestors came from Rajgrod. The town’s Jewish population was liquidated in 1942.

“This type of damage is seen as a despicable attack on Holocaust victims and their families involved in a project of commemoration,” said Monika Krawczyk, director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland. “The Foundation calls on the Polish authorities to immediately take measures to repair the damage, arrest the perpetrators, and provide care for other such sites throughout Poland.”

Polish Jewish activist Piotr Kadlcik said it was hard to call this an ordinary act of vandalism.

“The destruction of a massive monument located away from the city requires careful planning,” he told JTA.

Jews lived in Rajgrod from the 16th century through World War II. In 1857, some 1,569 Jews lived in Rajgrod, making up 90 percent of the town’s entire population.

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