Polish police suspect old Jewish cemetery was damaged

2017-08-31 22:21
Graveyard. (File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Graveyard. (File, Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Warsaw — Police in western Poland are investigating whether a historic Jewish cemetery was damaged after workers uncovered human remains and tombstones at a construction site.

Anna Dygas, of police in the village of Maszewo, told The Associated Press on Thursday that an investigation has been opened into possible damage to a burial site, and experts were analysing the human remains and the tombstones.

The private owner of the site notified police on Tuesday after human bones surfaced during works to prepare the site for a construction job.

A local amateur historian, Wojciech Janda, said the site is a 200-year-old Jewish cemetery. Last year a history association he belongs to included the neglected and overgrown cemetery, where only a few tombstones were visible, on a list of historical monuments.

Ewa Stanecka, a local official in charge of historic sites, said the owner never sought permission for the construction works.

According to Janda, the first written mention of Maszewo's Jewish cemetery dates back to 1820, when the area was part of Prussia and then Germany. The last burial was in 1933 and the Germans destroyed the cemetery, breaking its walls and the tombstones, amid rising anti-Semitism in1938. The Jewish community perished during the Holocaust and the cemetery remained in disrepair.

Read more on:    poland

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