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Images: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
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Warsaw Jewish Cemetery Database Form
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Information on the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery
Click here to learn more about our visit to the Majdanek Concentration Camp.
The Uprising - dangerous enemies of the Great Reich. #1...from The Memorial Route To The Struggle and Martyrdom of The Jews 1940-1943
Warsaw is an intregal part of our family history. Not only did members of the Fajn family reside there, but many of our ancestors passed through Warsaw on their way to America or sadly, on their way to the death camps.

From Our Diary
..."At 7:50PM, we left St. Petersburg on the Polish Airlines, Lot, for Warsaw. Entering the country was no problem and the Bristol Hotel was an unexpected 5 star beautiful hotel. Everyone at the Hotel was lovely to us. (See Photo #2)

Sunday, April 16, 1995
Mariola, our guide, arrived right after breakfast. She is charming and very nice to be with, also very knowledgeable. We hired a cab driver, as we had arranged to rent our car tomorrow, and set out to visit some sights in Warsaw.

Our first stop was at The Heroes of the Ghetto Monument. It was unveiled on April 19, 1948 on the fifth anniversary of the uprising of the Warsaw Ghetto. It is a beautiful and impressive monument and on the back is the sculpture showing the Jewish people in route to the Ghetto, carrying their most important possessions. In the sculpture you see a man carrying a Torah and you also see a naked woman. There is a copy of this monument at Yad Vashem in Israel and I seem to recall that there was a great deal of controversy there about the naked woman. (See Photo #3)

We next went to see Mila 18 and the monument atop the bunker. The Plaque on the monument reads: "Bunker of Jewish Fighters, Organizers and Leader, Mordechai Anielewicz." It was here in this bunker that the leader and the resistance fighters died when the bunker was blown up. These monuments are in the area that was the Warsaw Ghetto. You do not get a feel for it at all as all of the current buildings are post war. The only remains of the original Ghetto is a small section of the brick wall, perhaps thirty feet long, that was part of one of the boundaries. (See Photos #4 and #5)

Next stop was Umschlagplatz. On one side of the street is where SS Headquarters were and on the other side a beautiful memorial. It was on this spot that the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto were taken to wait to board the trains to Treblinka. (See Photo #6) On the wall of the memorial are inscribed 400 first names of Jewish people. The first names are used as there would never have been enough room to inscribe all of the last names. (See Photo #7)

One has many thoughts while visiting these places and memorials. Alan said he felt anger. I feel several things. First, I keep recalling the pictures of these poor people walking to the Ghetto and trains with their meagerly allowed possessions. Hopefully they did not know where they were going. I too feel anger, but I also feel very close to our ancestors and fellow Jews who were put through these indignation's. I also feel resentment that more is not made of the Holocaust here in Warsaw. Perhaps it is, but I have not seen what I would have expected today. I cannot find a guide book that describes the Jewish memorials and sites. Again, I must admit that I feel, perhaps selfishly, that thank God my grandparents immigrated to the U.S. We could have been in Poland or Russia very easily.

The last of the Jewish sites we visited was the orphanage run by Janusz Korlzhk (Hirsh Goldsmith). This orphanage was within the Ghetto and when the children were sent to Treblinka, Goldsmith would not leave them alone and went with them. They were all killed in Treblinka. (See Photo #8)

On Tuesday we will be visiting the Jewish Historical Society and I hope there I will find the feeling of preservation of the Jewish people that I am looking for. Warsaw is a much newer looking city than St. Petersburg. It is very clean and pleasant. As today is Easter Sunday it is very quiet. There are many old and new buildings. The apartment houses are not as box like as in St. Petersburg. The new ones are being built with more charm and character to them.

We visited Lazienki Park with the monument to Chopin. It is an interesting sculpture as you see Chopin sitting and next to him the branches of a Willow Tree that form a hand. In another part of the park we saw Belvedere that is the equivalent of our White House. It is very good looking, but the facade is peeling. Also, in the park is the Palace, ponds and Peacocks. It is very beautiful and must be even nicer when Spring comes. Though nothing is really in bloom here, it is much greener and brighter than St. Petersburg.

Our last stop for the day was to see the Parliament Building, then back to the hotel. There is a great deal to absorb here and to think about. Dinner at our hotel, The Bristol, and early to bed. Monday, April 17, 1995 We had our car delivered to the hotel at 9:AM and set out for Lublin. It took about two hours to arrive in Lublin and the Majdanek Concentration Camp.

Tuesday, April 18, 1995. Our luck seems to still be holding out for finding information. We started the day by going to The Jewish Cemetery "Geisa," in Warsaw. (See Photo #9)
We were met by the director Boleslaw Szenicer who had the list of tombstones ready for the family names Mariola had given him. What a surprise. Numerous Fajn's, Scheresjchewsky's and Peretz tombstones. The cemetery is amazing in that it was established in 1806, is still in existence today and is being used for new burials. It needs a tremendous amount of work. There are over 200,000 graves and tombstones there and it is fascinating. Through Miriam Weiner's help, the director now has a computer. He has 45,000 names from tombstones entered which enables him to look up these names and find where the graves are located.

We started with our list of about thirty names. After I saw how long it took to find the first grave, I figured we would have to stay in the cemetery for two weeks to find all of them. We arranged to have Boreslaw photograph the graves for us and send them along with the translation to us at home. What a thrill for me to find the grave there of Helen Fajn, sister of my great grandfather, Leon Fine.

We also saw the beautiful monument where three writers, Denetson, An-ski and Peretz are buried. These three writers were friends and relatives of the Dennison and Peretz families of New Jersey. (Cousins of my mother) (See Photo #`11)

The cemetery needs a great deal of work. It is overgrown with weeds and broken trees. They have started a foundation to raise money for repairs, but will need volunteers to do the cleanup and repairs. I could have spent many hours here. The tombstones and inscriptions were fascinating, and incredible to me that so many old ones are still there. (See Photo #10)

Next stop after the cemetery was The Jewish Historical Institute. Among other records are books with names of Holocaust survivors with additional information on each person. Again, we were lucky and came away with listings for several Fajn's, Golumbek's (Alan's father's family), Scherejshewsky's and even some Zavelsky's. These names will require some work but I know some will tie in to our family trees. Finding these names was very exciting for me.

We went to have lunch at a kosher restaurant, but found it closed due to Passover. We then visited the Nozyk Synagogue. (See Photos #13 and #14) The Synagogue was destroyed during the war and rebuilt. It is fairly simple, but very impressive.

Off to "Old Town" which is charming and how I picture old Poland to look. All reconstructed, but well done with cobblestone streets and small beautiful buildings. (See Photo #12) Late lunch at believe it or not Pizza Hut and then that was it for the day. Very fascinating. We leave for Ukraine tomorow."
#2..The Bristol Hotel in the early 1900s. It has been completely redone.
#3..Heros Of The Ghetto Monument...Photo 1995
#4...Jews building the Ghetto wall in 1940
#5...Remains of the Warsaw Ghetto Wall...Photo1995
#6...Where trains departed for Treblinka...Photo 1995
#7...Memorial wall at Umschlagplatz where first names are inscribed and the entrance to the memorial...Photos 1995
#8...The orphanage run by Janusz Korlzhk (Hirsh Goldsmith). This orphanage was within the Ghetto.
#9...The entrance to the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery...Photo 1995

#10...Tombstones in the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery...Photo 1995
Click here for link to Warsaw Cemetery Records

#11... Monument where Denetson, An-ski and Peretz, three famous writers are buried in the Warsaw Jewish Cemetery...Photo 1995,
#12...The "old town" in Warsaw...Photo 1995
#13...The Bema in the Nozyk Synagogue...Photo 1995
#13...The outside of the Nozyk Synagogue in Warsaw,,,Photo 1995