Warsaw Pilgrimage; Work to Be Done

Thirty-five young Jewish leaders continued their pilgrimage here today with a visit to the Jewish Institute of Warsaw. The institute, which houses a museum on the Ghetto and various other Jewish works of art, is obviously under-funded and under-staffed. Also housed in the building are the archives of the Polish Jewish community. Most notable are the Ringelbloom papers on the Ghetto. Much of the archive material has yet to be properly catalogued. “Much work must yet be done,” said one of the permanent researchers. Some of the material is beginning to crumble with age.

A visit to the last remaining synagogue in Warsaw was most depressing. The shul is in desperate need of repair. Two weeks ago the shul was vandalized and the coeur of the ark as well as the mer tamid stolen. The building was so cold that Sabbath prayers were held in a small room in an adjoining building. Most disturbing was a large swastika which was chalked recently on the building.

The group had lunch at the Jewish community kosher canteen, one of 10 in Poland, which serves the elderly pensioners. The group met with these Jews. One 80-year-old woman blessed the group and pleaded with them never to forget they were Jews. Afterwards, the group visited the large Warsaw Jewish cemetery where they paid homage to Isaac Loeb Peretz, the Yiddish and Hebrew writer, and the martyrs of the Ghetto. An old Jew is the caretaker. After he leaves, no one will be left who cares.

NEXT STORY