A Silent Contemplation – The Łódź Jewish Cemetery

Why do I find such peace and mindfulness walking in cemeteries? Over the years I have learned that many people do. I also have my own favourites. Père Lachaise in Paris and Highgate in London. But since I visited The Warsaw Jewish Cemetery, I have come to understand, that nowhere else you will find… that special mood.

Jewish Cemeteries have a beauty of their own. They are all abandoned, and speak of a deep sadness over the dead souls and over all sons and daughters lost. There is no one left to care for the graves.

Ivy clad and hidden – and the silence is complete.

The Łódź Jewish Cemetery, also known as the New Jewish Cemetery, was once the largest Jewish cemetery in Poland, and one of the largest in the world. It was opened in 1892 and occupies around 44 hectares of land.

According to Wikipedia, the cemetery contains from 180,000 to 230,000 marked graves, as well as mass graves of victims of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto and the Holocaust.

Out in the open, the many names stood facing the sun. Maybe even more impressive seen in black, from behind.

From 1893 to 1896, the basic construction of the necropolis was completed by the well-known architect Adolf Zeligson.Today over a hundred of historical grave sites have been declared historical monuments and are in various stages of restoration. The cemetery also continues to function as a Jewish burial site.

The mausoleum of Izrael Poznański is perhaps the largest Jewish tombstone in the world and the only one containing decorative mosaic. It is towering like a white elephant over the old stones…

…But I prefer the little things…the ornate carvings and the rusty old fences…

And, the intense stillness and beauty. Thank you for walking with me.

 

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