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I agree with you that the "cemetery" is just a space between large apartment
buildings. The monument was placed there by survivors of the Holocaust,
including my cousin whose entire family >from Ciechanow was murdered at
Auschwitz. He was liberated at the age of 18, brought to the U.S. by
relatives and now lives in Chicago. He described his visit to Ciechanow when
the monument was placed there and it was meaningful for him. He did say
that the modern Ciechanow is "quite pretty" - too pretty for the horrible
events that took place there.
I guess, as a memorial to all the victims of the Holocaust and to our
ancestors who were buried there, I feel compelled to do something that makes
a statement that the little bit that remains of the cemetery is hallowed
ground and should not be used for any other purpose.
When I visited Poland in 2004, I also went to Mlawa where other of my
ancestors lived. The cemetery there is larger, has a larger memorial but is
still unkempt and should have someone's attention.
I brought stones >from both cemeteries and placed them on my father's grave.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Steven D. Bloom" <sbloom@...>
To: "Ciechanow Research Group" <ciechanow@...>
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 9:00 AM
Subject: more on the cemetery, etc.
Just to be a bit more clear, since it would seem to the average reader
that some of our posts might be contradictory.
My guide in Ciechanow in 2008 said that there had been two cemeteries, the
old one and a newer (20th century)
one. The old one didn't seem to exist in any form at all, as far as I
could tell. The new one was sort of a lot,
but I think maybe better described as a strip of park in front of an
apartment building. No stones or anything, not even crushed or knocked
down. There is a Holocaust memorial there with no names. The inscription
was quite stark and just said something about it being a memorial to those
who were martyred at the hands of the Nazis.
from what others said, some intact stones might exist (they were use for paving). I know in other towns, such as Aleksandrow, they were able to
retrieve a number of stones that were used for paving, but the process of
restoring the cemetery is long and arduous and costs money.
But the long and the short of it is that I wouldn't expect to see a lot in
Ciechanow, but I believe one should go to the ancestral towns anyway, even
if there is not a lot there....especially if you have other towns you can
visit that do have cemeteries. Perhaps you can do some advance research
and determine whether it would be worthwhile to get some records at the
records office in Ciechanow. I did this in other towns.
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