Memphis Travelers Visit Warsaw Jewish Cemetery During JCP/MJCC-Sponsored Journey
A large group departed from Memphis International Airport Sunday, traveling to Poland to begin their journey from Warsaw to Israel. The JCP/MJCC-sponsored trip will connect the travelers to their Jewish history, taking them to important sites from the recent past. Here, our director of community impact, Bluma Zuckerbrot-Finkelstein, shares her thoughts and images from the groups tour of the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery.
Warsaw Jewish Cemetery. This cemetery wasn’t destroyed during the war, just neglected. It was cut off from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943, so Warsaw Jews were no longer allowed to bury their dead there until after the war.
Walking through, you really get a sense of the diversity of Jewish life in Warsaw before the Holocaust. Buried here are diverse Jewish leaders from Yiddish author and playwright Y.L. Peretz to the Chasidic Rebbe of Slonim, as well as Zionist, Socialist, Bundist and Universalist activists.
I was particularly moved by the story of Warsaw Ghetto Judenrat (Jewish Council) leader Adam Czerniakow, who committed suicide in 1942 rather than hand over to the Nazis names of Jews to be deported to Treblinka death camp. He is also buried here.