Why a Memorial?

Thanks for looking at our blog.
You can read the full story behind this campaign on the “Full Story” page, but here, in a nutshell, is the reason why we are proposing to create a memorial in Gryfice to its former Jewish community:

  • There was once a thriving Jewish community in Greifenberg, over two hundred strong at its peak
  • The last Jewish residents were eliminated by the Nazis in the 1940s, with the result that there were no Jewish residents there after the war, or at any time since
  • The German residents were driven west by the Russians as they swept through the area on their way to Berlin, to be replaced with Poles and Ukrainians from further east
  • The former Jewish synagogue was demolished in the 1980s
  • The Jewish cemetery (where my great-grandparents are buried) was built on in the 1960s. Stories are told of children playing with human bones uncovered by the diggers
  • There is therefore nothing – no buildings and no descendants of people who were there at the time – to remind the people who live there of this important part of the community.

As the displacement and persecution of people continues to this day, there is still a need for people to be reminded of how communities can be lost forever.

A Jewish memorial will:

  • Remind people who live in or visit Gryfice of the community that contributed so much to its history and what it is today
  • Give the descendants of Jewish families from Gyrfice all over the world today a renewed awareness and pride in the town where their ancestors lived
  • Remind everyone of the damage that history can do to communities if people don’t stand in the way to stop it.