-BELARUS: Streets of Brest paved with gravestones from Jewish cemetery


Gravestones mingled with rubbish

APRIL 15, 2009 –  Charter ’97 Press Center reports today that “gravestones from an old Jewish cemetery are scattered in one of the yards of Karl Marx Street in Brest.

In the place where a Jewish cemetery was once situated,  now stands  ‘Locomotive’  stadium. The cemetery was wiped out by the Nazis. Some  gravestones have been excavated, but some of them are scattered around and can get into the hands of vandals, said the European Radio for Belarus.

Gravestones in a pile near the hospital wall

Gravestones in a pile near the hospital wall

The only local survivor of the Brest ghetto liquidation, Arkadz Blyaher, has a document proving that the fascist administration ordered local inhabitants to bring headstones from the Jewish cemetery to the Gestapo. Part of the yard situated in the modern Marx Street was paved with them. The rest of the yard was covered with concrete slabs.

According to the information presented by the Brisk association, ‘Brest’ in Yiddish, about 200 headstones have already been collected from all over the city. They are kept in one of the forts of the fortress situated not far from the city. A small memorial is planned to be built near the Locomotive stadium. It will be a so-called lapidarium (the word stem from the word “stone” in Latin).

However, local teenagers have already started spoiling the unprotected stones. Somebody brought four headstones and left them near the concrete fence of the stadium. Parts of them are scattered and mingled with rubbish on the western and southern sides of the stadium. Gravestones are also piled near the hospital wall.”

(News source and photo credit- Charter ’97)


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