I have now visited the Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw twice, last year was it a grey and drizzly day. This time, it was a fantastic sunny and hot day. The tall trees gave a wonderful shade and to see how the sun beams spread light over the deep resting gravestones was so enormously mightily… the greenery so soft and embossing.
Both my visits has given me such remarkable inner peace and quietness … without a doubt my favorite place in Warsaw. Just like the Hiroshima Memorial Park did .. it just embraces me and it feels comfortable to be there. I don’t really feel any sadness, it more a feeling of great relief from everything else and it’s so beautiful in it’s tragedy.
Plenty birds, but there are very few flowers.
The Warsaw Jewish Cemetery is one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe and in the world. Located on Warsaw’s Okopowa street and next to the Powązki Cemetery (tram 22), the cemetery was established in 1806 and occupies 33 hectares (83 acres) of land. The cemetery contains over 200,000 marked graves, as well as mass graves of victims of the Warsaw Ghetto.
The cemetery was closed down during World War II, after the war, it was reopened and a small portion of it remains active, serving Warsaw’s small existing Jewish population. Also, have they started to use burial places in between the abandoned old graves.
Of course, it hard to not be hit by what The Holocaust caused in suffering and lost of lives. The gravestones are covered in moss and allowed to fall over as they please. Nature has formed the cemetery and done it very graceful.
The most powerful momorial is Jack Eisner’s personal memorial … with the photos of his cousins and siblings (30) in a heap of organized rubble (some could be from the Ghetto ruins) …. it really hits heart and soul.
Mr. Eisner — who had homes in Manhattan, Israel, and Nice, France — also helped found several Holocaust remembrance organizations, endowed university chairs to teach about the subject and was a leader in promoting understanding between Jews and Christians. He met with the pope several times.
In 1993, he installed the monument at to commemorate the 1.5 million Jewish children killed by Nazis.
Finally, it was the question that Mr. Eisner could not answer that most troubled him, why he survived.
”Why me?” he wrote in his book of his own survival. ”Why not Grandma Masha? Why not Hela, Lutek, Mrs. Grinberg? What about Schmeel, the shoemaker?”
Mr Eisner died in New York 2003, 77 years old.
“Life is the only thing
which can never be
replaced when lost.”
Lailah Gifty Akita