May 21, 2012: Generation After Report

Report by Generation After (GA) Vice President, Genie Glucksman, to the Greater Washington DC chapter on the Nowy Dwor Project presentation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:

Fellow 2nd Generation David Wluka gave an inspirational presentation about efforts he spearheaded to "recreate" a sanctified Jewish cemetery of Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki, Poland. The seeds for a plan to reclaim a totally obliterated cemetery which had existed since the Middle Ages germinated after a trip to his ancestral homeland in 1988 with his late father, Holocaust survivor activist Icek Wluka, and other family members. When they went to visit the site of the former Jewish cemetery, they found an abandoned gravel and sand quarry. During WWII the Nazis had most of the headstones ripped from the ground to be used as road stabilizing construction material and what was left either deteriorated from neglect or was further vandalized by the local population.
The Nowy Dwor Jewish Memorial project, founded by direct descendants of Nowy Dwor Jews, was created in 2009. In the course of routine utility work nearby in 2010, a dozen headstones were discovered and rescued. Since then, more than 100 matzevot (headstones) and remnants of headstones were recovered, many in remarkably good condition and fully legible. Since their original location could not be determined and the original topography of the cemetery had been totally altered during its years as a quarry, the headstones were returned to the cemetery property in the form of a wall and plaza. A new stairway permits people to view the remains of what was once the resting place of one of Poland's most vibrant Jewish communities and the center of Judaic publishing.

The presentation to Generation After members and other guests, from the perspective of a loving son of two Holocaust survivors, was inspirational; this respectful and appropriate tribute came to fruition through the generosity of people from around the world and the support and assistance of the Mayor and municipal government of Nowy Dwor. Dedication ceremonies for the first phase of the project were held on July 14, 2011, with Chief Rabbi of Poland Schudrich officially reconsecrating the cemetery grounds. Visit the website to follow the story and progress toward the ultimate goal. David shared this website that describes the situation of other Jewish cemeteries in Poland: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thanks so much to David and a contribution to the Nowy Dwor Jewish Memorial Project will be made by the Generation After.