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Cracow Jews Renovate Old Cemetery, Restore 16th Century Tombstones

January 12, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The famous old Jewish cemetery of Cracow, Poland, containing burial grounds sacred to many Jews around the world, has been cleaned up, ancient tombstones having been restored and their inscriptions re-engraved, accounting to a report from Cracow reaching here today.

A total of 267 tombstones have been renovated, some of the monuments dating back to the flourishing Jewish community of Cracow in the 16th Century. Among the tombstones are those marking the burial place of the famed Rabbi Moses Isserles, called the “Rema, ” a noted codifier of Hebrew learning, who died in 1572.

One group of tombstones marks the burial places of the dynasty of physicians and apothecaries founded by Solomon Calahora. The latter was personal physician to two of Poland’s most famous kings, Sigismund Augusts and Stephen Batori, from 1570 to his death in 1596. In the same plot is the grave of Dr. Solomon Ashkenazi, a learned Jew who preceded Dr. Calahora as King’s doctor.

In addition to restoring the ancient cemetery, the Cracow Jewish community has also rebuilt a high wall surrounding the burial grounds. The wall had been destroyed by the Nazis when they occupied Cracow during World War II. Many of the tombstones had been overturned or defaced by the Nazis.

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