Events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Będzin Ghetto

On Sunday, 25th August, took place ceremonial events of the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Będzin Ghetto.

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On Sunday, 25th August, in Będzin in the square by the defensive wall in Modrzejewska Street took place ceremonial events of the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Będzin Ghetto.

The events began at 6:30pm. Their participants included: representatives of Światowy Związek Żydów Zagłębia [World Association of the Jews of Zagłębie] (Abraham Green — the president, Zeev Leron, and Menachem Lior-Liwer), President of the Jewish Community in Katowice Włodzimierz Kac, Director of the Jewish Historical Institute Prof Paweł Śpiewak, dr Aleksandra Namysło from The Institute of National Remembrance in Katowice, MP Beata Małecka-Libera and representatives of the municipality of Będzin and befriended cities and gminas, as well as councillors. The ceremony was also attended by numerous representatives of associations and foundations, schools, cultural institutions and academia, and the clergy of the Dean of the Będzin Deanery — Fr. Andrzej Stepien.

Rabbi Joel Nowicki said the prayer for the dead and the perished and Abraham Green said Khaddish. The majority of the speeches given by the invited guests were memories of the Second World War and the liquidation of the Bedzin Ghetto. It was summed up by a slogan „Never again” delivered by Menachem Lior-Liwer. Also, Governor of Silesia Zygmunt Łukaszczyk addressed his letter to the gathered.

The event was accompanied by a unique multimedia show „Będzin 2013–1943” by Krzysztof Paweł Bogocz — a resident of Będzin and at the same time the author known in Poland for other similar projects. The pivot of the spectacle was an open-air presentation of a film impression, which in one word can be described as a juxtaposition of film shots of contemporary Będzin with film shots taken by the Germans just before the liquidation of the ghetto in August 1943.

The ceremony featured a performance of the choir Camerata Silesia under direction of dr Anna Szostak performing for the first time an interpretation of a piece by Mirosław Muzykant to the text by Fr. D. Klejnowski-Różycki entitled “Let the world hear: life prevailed”. Also, the participants had a chance to listen to a live concert of a prominent Polish clarinetist Jerzy Mazzoll as well as an interpretation of Polish poetry on Jewish subject matter by Wisława Szymborska, Czesław Miłosz and Władysław Broniewski performed by Ryszarda Celińska and Andrzej Kowalczyk.

The honorary patronage over the events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the ghetto in Będzin was assumed by President of Światowy Związek Żydów Zagłębia (World Association of the Jews of Zagłębie) Abraham Green and The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. The co-organiser of the events was the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute.

During the ceremonies, for the first time it was possible to see a sundial commemorating this event and being a symbolic way of paying tribute to all those of Jewish nationality that have co-created Będzin for centuries.

The text and photos by the courtesy of the City of Będzin.

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