– Bonnie, Sandy, Ellen – at the Jewish Cemetery in Radom
Julie, Ellen, Bonnie, Ilana, Sandy, Jon in front of what was Mom’s apartment on the main square in Radom
Last night, after our Shabbat dinner, we had a chance to speak with some of the families who came from far and wide. We spoke to a woman from France; she was a 3G (third generation) who was here with her parents (2G) and her two children, Talia, 16, and Ilon, 13 (4G). We also met another family from New York, a father, Barry Lehman, who was here with his two adult children, Dan and Ashley. We all took a walk together down Zaremskiego, the Main Street in town, on our way to the ice cream shop, where we indulged in a refreshing desssert. My mother lived on Zaremskeigo Street and so we walked further, knowing we would come upon it, and we did.
I remembered the building from our trip to Radom years earlier; my mother’s fancy apartment on the “Fifth Avenue” of Radom had been turned into a school. We tried to gain access, but the front door was locked, and the interior courtyard which we had seen in the year 2000, was blocked by a cememt wall. The exterior looked like many of the nicer apartments we had seen in Warsaw, and still retained a certain undeniable stateliness.
In the morning, we visited the Jewish cemetery, or what was left of it. The cemetery was founded in 1831, almost completely destroyed during the war. Tombstones were used to pave the roads and the airport runway. The last burial took place in 1951, and the conservation work on the remaining tombstones started in 1992. Most of the tombstones we saw were broken; fragments were hung along the inner stone wall. A separate enclosed area was set up for prayer where we assembled and said “Kaddish,” the prayer for the dead. There is a monument in the cemetery to the Memory of the Jews of Radom that was unveiled in 2010.