Families of Murdered Jews Protest Recent Polish Decisions on Jedwabne
There have been many stories in the world-wide media for the past several months concerning the destruction of the Jewish community in the Polish village of Jedwabne in 1941. One facet of these reports is lacking, however, the feelings of the descendants and relatives of those who were murdered.
We have read during the past week about exhumation of the bodies of our loved ones. We have read during the past week about the "new" inscription for the memorial. We, the descendents and relatives of the murdered Jedwabne Jews, have had no input into any of these decisions. We do not understand why exhumation is necessary at all. Certainly, in today's high-tech world there are forensic methods that would allow dignity in the examination of the burnt remains of our loved ones. Is the purpose to do a body count? For what reason? To assess if there are 1440 or 1600 bodies? One body would be one too many...
There were enough eyewitness reports of the horrible event on July 10, 1941 to obtain all the facts needed to learn what happened - with the names of the murderers known as well as the murdered. Already, world Jewish leaders are organizing protests against the exhumations. We, the descendants and relatives, will be no less active in voicing our protest as well. PLEASE, STOP THE EXHUMATIONS!
We are also shocked and appalled by the recent news about the wording of the new memorial. Over the past several months, the Polish government has announced repeatedly that it was ready to acknowledge that the murderers were Polish. Many weeks ago, we were assured that the new inscription would indicate clearly who the perpetrators were. The text adopted by the Polish authorities earlier this week not only fails to accomplish this but is so ambiguous that it can even be interpreted as an attack on the victims themselves. There is no substitute to inscribing the memorial with the facts - THE JEWISH CITIZENS OF JEDWARNE AND SURROUNDING VILLAGES WERE MURDERED AND BURNED ALIVE BY THEIR POLISH NEIGHBORS. We, the descendants and relatives of the murdered Jews of Jedwabne, have agonized for many years over the fate of our loved ones and the attempt to obliterate their memory. We pray that all those involved will be sensitive to and respectful of our feelings and will act in a responsible manner.
Alberto, Aronowitz, A.R. Binstein, Juana Eridman, Lazaro Fridman, Jude Kubran, Morlan Ty Rogers, Joseph Trachtman, Ph.D., Haya Waserstein
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