Polish workers unearth tombstones


Workers in a Polish town found 200 Jewish tombstones at the bottom of a water reservoir.

The stones were discovered Nov. 27 while workers excavated an area for renovation in the historic market square of Kepno, according to the Polish weekly Tygodnik Kepinski. The stones, hidden for decades, apparently were removed from the town’s Jewish cemetery and used by the Nazis to line the bottom of the small reservoir. There was no immediate word on the condition of the stones.

Authorities in Kepno, which is located on the border of Silesia and Lodz Province, have agreed to remove the stones and place them in the town’s historic synagogue. Kepno has no active Jewish community, but was reportedly 60 percent Jewish before World War II.

Rabbi Yitzchak Rapoport of Wroclaw, who learned about the stones Tuesday in a call from the editor in chief of the local weekly newspaper, said he was hoping to see the stones for himself soon. He said removing the stones should not present any Jewish legal problems, as the site is not connected with a cemetery and “thank God we are not talking about bones.”

In October, 20 stones were found elsewhere in Kepno. Tygodnik Kepinski editor Miroslaw Lapa said he learned of the find and informed the Jewish community of Wroclaw, which is 70 kilometers away, but had not heard back from them. He called Rapoport on Tuesday.

The site of the Kepno Jewish cemetery today is a gas station.

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