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Polish cemetery returned to Jewish community

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(JTA) — An ancient  Jewish cemetery in Poland was ordered returned to the Jewish community.

The municipality of Przemysl in southeastern Poland took over the cemetery, which dates back to the 16th century, following World War II. At a meeting last week, the city was ordered by a government commission to turn over the cemetery to the Jewish community, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The cemetery has served Przemysl and neighboring towns for hundreds of years.

The decision by the  Polish government’s Regulatory Commission, which resolves claims regarding Jewish communal property, came after years of negotiations, the Post reported.

Przemysl was once home to about 20,000 Jews, most of whom were murdered by the Nazis. 

The Warsaw-based Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland led efforts to secure the cemetery. The group will now restore the site, which is overgrown, damaged and lacking a perimeter fence. It was severely vandalized by the Nazis, who used gravestones to pave their roads.

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