Jewish tombstones used by Nazis to build roads found in Poland

Daniels said that they would be taken, flipped around face-down so people didn’t know what they were and placed to pave the streets.

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May 13, 2019 18:21
2 minute read.
Jewish tombstones used by Nazis to build roads found in Poland

rom the Depths founder, Jonny Daniels, poses with some of the Jewish tombstones recovered in Gora Kalwaria in Poland. (photo credit: FROM THE DEPTHS)

Jewish tombstones used to pave a road and pavements during the Holocaust were discovered in Gora Kalwaria in Poland while a highway was being built through the city.


From the Depths founder Jonny Daniels, who was called to the scene by an elderly Polish woman living in the area who uncovered the tombstones when walking her dog, explained that Gora Kalwaria (Gur) was home to the Ger sect of Hasidim.
The area where the tombstones were found is just 2 kilometers from the Jewish cemetery of Gora Kalwaria.


"They told us that some of the pavements or even some of the roads were built during the time of the Nazi occupation here, and built using Jewish tombstones," he said in a Facebook video last week, adding that after he received the call he wasn't quite sure. "But what we can actually see here is really quite incredible and quite disturbing and painful to see as well."


 


Daniels explained that they planned to bring the tombstones "back to the Jewish cemetery" where they belong. On camera, he pointed out several tombstones that had been unearthed, which were intact with the names and the writing on the tombstones clearly visible.


"You can also see, which is interesting, the uniformity of the size so the reason also why, the colors of this tombstone would be somewhat protected, it would be taken, cut in half and they would be roughly the same size,” he said.


He said that they would be taken, flipped around face-down so people didn’t know what they were and placed to pave the streets. “Sometimes we would use the full top of the matzevah [tombstone] where we can see everything that’s written, others [used] would be the bottom and some would be where we can see nothing at all."


Digging his hand into the dirt, Daniels also showed fragments and other pieces of tombstones still stuck in the ground that were “literally used to pave the road.”


“This is one of the craziest cases I’ve heard of, it really is quite shocking,” he said. “Just to see so many, to see that this is just a small area that we’ve looked at - this is what we’ve found in just a few minutes.”


 An intact Jewish tombstones recovered in Gora Kalwaria in Poland. (From the Depths)


He said that if they were to dig further, “I’m almost certain that this entire area will be full of matzevot [tombstones].”


Daniels went on to say that they would reach out to the company building these roads and hope to “do more than hope, we’ll demand from them that whilst building this road, they take care of this heritage and history because this isn’t right - this is a historical, horrendous thing that desperately needs to be corrected.”


He added that they would also take full pictures and documentation, “so if you know or have family or know of people from Gur or Gora Kalwaria, please share this with them and maybe we’ll be able to locate the tombstone of a loved one.”


Daniels told The Jerusalem Post that he also met with members from the Ginzach Kedushei HaShem Holocaust Museum in Bnei Brak "to help us hopefully find the people" who could be related to those on the tombstones.



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