For those of you not familiar with this area, this is the gate of the Korczyna Cemetery. Meyer Denn recently hired someone in Slovakia to travel to Korczyna to photograph each and every stone in the cemetery.
He announced in September that the Korczyna cemetery photo project was begun, and forwarded a few of the photos that were taken, so that others might be able to get an idea of what he are trying to do BEFORE it is too late.
Meyer wrote: "PLEASE take a moment to read the letter that I received from the young man who is overseeing the project for me. If you have ANY interest in trying to
preserve this cemetery, please let me know. In any event, if you are willing to contribute
financially towards this project, you will receive a cd rom with photos of every stone that
Jan was able to photograph (at least
200+ stones). He will be photographing the remainder of the stones once the cemetery has been cleared away of debris. We want to repair the gate to the cemetery and clear away all of the overgrowth. (Editor's note: to learn more about this wonderful project, please contact Meyer Denn .
Thanks go to Bill Leibner for the translation of the writing on the gravestones. He wrote: The stones uncovered in the photographs are written in Rabbinical Hebrew of the 18th century and contain some abreviations and letter symbols. The name does not usually appear on the stone but the first letter of each line gives you the first name.
And this is the message from Jan: "The shock is when you come to cemetery like that in Korczyna and there is about 300-350 stones, 30-40% of whose are completely not accessible. Whole cemetery is huge, but one would have to spend the week cleaning trees and bush ....to get access there. We have done as much as possible today. More than 0 stones around 40-50 % of which had to be filled by shaving foam. All of them are numbered and all are recorded to plan of cemetery. We came there, me, my father and the builder who is preparing to repair Certizne cemetery. I was shocked by the size and situation. We started immediately to work - we were cleaning stones + filling them by foam+ I took the picture of all stones. [we] went stone by stone
taking picture with number and drawing the plan. IF ANYBODY WANTS TO DO THE WHOLE CEMETERY DOCUMENTATION - he needs two guys with chainsaws , cleaning it for 3 days and next two guys who would document it. With better attitude. RESULT - we have done 80percents working from 10 am till 4 pm constantly with 15 min.break for QUICK lunch. I do not feel my body now. Many of stones is completely destroyed or lost. Some stones are not readable. Some of them not accessible. THere is old man who lives nearby. Meyer, If there is anybody who is interested to saving this cemetery and keeping it honorable place, please let him (them) know they should find some money and do it fast... this place is in terrible condition.....Otherwise will nature make it the nature etc... trees are pushing stones to land, stones are falling and breaking themselves in half , letters are not visible...terrible. I have spend a lot of time trying not to dammage the stones only touching their letters with piece of soft gum". [signed] Jan
What you see is an incredible mitzvah of "chessed shel emet" that our ancestors who lie in eternal repose in that place will receive benefit. I know that many of us can benefit from the inscriptions on these stones. Please let me know if you are interested.
-- Meyer Denn
(To email Meyer, click on his name)
Steve Glazer just returned from almost a week working in Krosno and Korczyna. Steve wanted to let us all know they were able to:
Steve continued: “We worked closely with the school and town, who have made a verbal commitment to continue clearing and
cleaning the cemetery annually. While visiting the school, I was able to look at a student
registry dating back to the early 1900s.
For more information, or to donate to this project, please contact me
(To email Steve, click on his name)
The photographs of the cemetery are recent, and were donated by Ruben Weiser of Buenos Aires and Tomasz Okoniewski of Korczyna.
The KORCZYNA cemetery survey was completed in 1992 by the US Commission (#POCE000725). The following is adapted from their report.
The cemetery is rural, located on flat land and isolated. There is no sign or marker. It is
reached by turning directly off a public road and is open to all. It is surrounded by a continuous masonry wall and has a gate that locks.
Before WWII and now the cemetery size is .7 ha. Between 100 - 500 gravestones, less than 25% toppled or broken, date from the 19th - 20th centuries. The stones/memorial markers are made of granite, marble and concrete that are rough stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones and flat stones with carved relief decorations. Inscriptions are in Hebrew. It contains unmarked mass graves.
The present owner of the Cemetery is unknown. The property is for Jewish cemetery use only. Adjacent properties are agricultural and residential. The cemetery is visited rarely by private visitors. The cemetery was vandalized during WWII. There has been no maintenance, no care. Within the limits of the cemetery are two buildings without any fittings. Security, pollution, vandalism and incompatible nearby developments are not threats. Weather erosion and vegetation are very serious threats. The cemetery is overgrown with trees and bushes.
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