The fourth stop on our educational tour around Poland was Bychawa. The history of the Jewish community in Bychawa is thought to span from the 16th century until the Holocaust. In the 100 years leading up to the Second World War, Jews made up the majority of the town’s population. After October 1942, the some 2,500 Jewish inhabitants of Bychawa were sent to either labor camps or ghettos (and later to extermination camps) or directly extermination camps to be murdered.
In 2020, under funding from the Auswärtiges Amt, we ensured that the last testament to this lost community was not forgotten by fencing and projecting the Bychawa Jewish cemetery. During our recent event, Yulia Oreshina, Associate Professor at the Georgian American University discussed the importance of this work in the context of protecting Jewish heritage sites.
Following the short lecture on Jewish cemeteries, participants visited the local Jewish cemetery, synagogue and former Jewish businesses, while also sharing their knowledge about the Jewish past of their town.
The event was co-organised by the local administration Bychawa.pl and the local cultural centre Bychawskie Centrum Kultury. Thank you for supporting us in highlighting the importance of preserving local Jewish cemeteries. We also would like to thank Agnieszka Chemperek from the local administration, Yulia and Alexandra Fishel in particular for supporting the organisation of this event!