Used to rebuild Warsaw, Jewish tombstones return to cemeteries

An old Jewish tombstone is seen in a wall in a park in Warsaw, on October 14, 2014Two-year-old Krzys zooms down a slide in Warsaw and shrieks with delight, paying no mind to the workmen who are busy demolishing the playground walls. The tombstones, known as Matzevot, from hundreds of Jewish cemeteries across Poland — that were abandoned or destroyed following the Holocaust — were used to pave roads and put up walls during the communist era. It was part of an effort to rebuild a capital city that had been razed to the ground by Nazi Germany during World War II, a conflict that also all but wiped out Poland’s Jewish community. At the small playground in Warsaw’s Praga neighbourhood, the stones were used to build an arbour and the walls surrounding a nursery school as well as a dance floor.

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