Recording Cultural Genocide and Killing Sites in Jewish Cemeteries

Year
2016
Organisation
Staffordshire University
Laser scans of the matzevah fragments were taken using a FARO laser scanner. Details and inscriptions were made visible, allowing for virtual reconstruction. Credit: S.D. Reece
Laser scans of the matzevah fragments were taken using a FARO laser scanner. Details and inscriptions were made visible, allowing for virtual reconstruction. Credit: S.D. Reece

This project raises awareness of the causes and consequences of cultural and physical genocide within Jewish cemeteries in order to tackle racism, xenophobia and hostility in the present day. New research was conducted to explore the relationship between the destruction of property by Nazis and their collaborators, and the use of religious spaces as killing sites. A series of “social action projects” was undertaken at selected Jewish cemeteries in Os?wi?cim and in the Warsaw/Lublin regions in Poland where members of target groups worked with the project team to locate unmarked killing sites, graves and tombstones and to clean and restore the sites.

The results of the two aforementioned initiatives was disseminated via a state-of-the-art digital platform. The project adopted a unique interdisciplinary methodology to achieve its aims, utilizing techniques from history, archaeology, digital humanities, conservation and community engagement. Target groups were political and educational decision makers in the Polish government and the UK, mayors, civil servants, police, educational multipliers and religious- or community leaders. Alongside the social action projects, these people were targeted through face to face meetings, an app version of the digital platform, and the distribution of a final project report. The project results were documented in press releases and a blog. Additional results are planned to be released.

Project Partner
Fundacja Zapomniane (Pl), The Matzevah Foundation, Inc. (US)
Beneficiary countries
Germany
Poland
United Kingdom
United States
Grant recipient's country
United Kingdom