Polish Jewish cemetery being excavated to become a parking lot

December 9, 2017 Agencies
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The World Jewish Congress is urging the Polish authorities to put an immediate stop to the excavation of an old Jewish cemetery in eastern Poland being dug up for the construction of an electrical substation and parking lot.
“The construction in the town Siemiatycze is being carried out despite clear and advanced warnings that the site sits on a Jewish burial ground,” said World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer.  “We urge the Polish authorities to intervene immediately to put a stop to this irreverent and shocking desecration. This is a deplorable act that must not be tolerated in silence.”

“Poland was once home to the largest Jewish community in the world, and their bodies and memories are buried across Polish land. Some of these are established and recognized cemeteries and others are coarsely dug areas holding those who perished in the Holocaust. These are not just the final resting grounds for the Jews of Poland, but a testament to the community and life that once thrived before World War II,” Singer added.

“The municipality’s decision to continue with the construction despite clear warnings that this is holy ground, and that human remains would be found in the process, is a desecration not just of those buried in the spot but of the memory of the entire Jewish community,” said Singer.

After human remains were dug up in the process of excavations on the site, Rabbi Michael Schudrich called the incident “the worst desecration of a Jewish cemetery” that he has seen in his 17 years as Chief Rabbi of Poland.

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