On 20 September 2018, a ceremony in commemoration of the Jewish cemetery at Gościnna Street was held in Gostynin.

For decades in the post-war history of Gostynin, the local Jewish cemetery remained a shameful testimony to the oblivion surrounding Jews who had lived in the area and co-created the history of Gostynin over several centuries. On 20 September 2018, we met to help preserve the memory of this place, once so important to the numerous and diverse community of Gostynin Jews.

The ceremony took place on the 130th anniversary of the death of Tzaddik Yechiel Meir Lipshitz, whose ohel used to be located at the Gostynin cemetery. The tzaddik was referred to by his contemporaries as “the Good Jew from Gostynin” or the “Psalm Jew.”

The commemorative plaque was unveiled by: Israeli Ambassador to Poland Anna Azari, Gostynin Mayor Paweł Kalinowski and Tomer Naveh from Israel, a descendant of Gostynin’s Motyl family. The plaque bears the following inscription: “Jewish Cemetery. The resting place of Tzaddik Yechiel Meir Lipshitz and Gostynin Jews. Let their memory be blessed.”

In 2010, fragments of matzevot from the Gostynin cemetery were found on a forest road near the town. A year later, thanks to the efforts of the local geography and history enthusiasts, the tombstones were unearthed in order to be moved back to their original location. The year 2016 saw the emergence of the “Multicultural Gostynin” initiative. One of its aims was to commemorate the Jewish cemetery. In the spring of 2017, thanks to the funds received from the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, land surveying was carried out to establish the borders of the cemetery. In 2018, the Association of the Gostynin Development Centre received funding from the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute for the project called “Multicultural Gostynin: The commemoration of the Jewish cemetery,” which was carried out in cooperation with the "Multicultural Gostynin” group.

The commemorative ceremony was hosted by social activists from the “"Multicultural Gostynin” group and the Gostynin Town Hall.

Piotr Syska

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