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Restore the Jewish Cemeteries of Poland

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An Appeal to the German Government to Restore the Jewish Cemeteries of Poland

The invasion of Poland by German forces in 1939 brought for the Jews immediate and systematic dehumanization, plundering, forced ghettoization, starvation, and the final solution, when 3 million Polish Jews were murdered-half of the 6 million Jews who were annihilated in the Holocaust.

During this time, the Germans desecrated Jewish cemeteries and robbed them of their gravestones, walls and gates in order to build roads, pavements, fortifications and other structures. Today, there are an estimated 1400 devastated and desecrated Jewish cemeteries in Poland. In addition, there are thousands of unmarked mass graves, located in cemeteries and nearby forests, where Jews were forced to dig their own graves and then brutally murdered; men, women and children. To date, only a handful of the cemeteries have been reconstructed, mostly paid for by survivors and descendants of the former shtetls.

Evidence of German destruction of the cemeteries can be found throughout Poland. Every mass grave bears irrefutable proof. Written records and photographic evidence also exist, for example, in Ilza where only fragments of gravestones may be seen. Hundreds lie under a roadway a few miles out of this shtetl. In Losice, the site of the notorious Gestapo headquarters contained a German bunker, and was walled and paved with an estimated 1500 monuments.

The cost for restoring all the cemeteries including funds for perennial care and protecting and memorializing the mass graves, is estimated at upwards of $200 million US.

Had they lived, Holocaust victims and their unborn children would today be caring for their sacred ancestral cemeteries, where parents, grandparents, great grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, friends and revered rabbis were buried.

Please add your voice to this petition, on behalf of the millions murdered, asking that the German Government take responsibility and pay their fair share, so that the dead can rest in peace.