“What happened with the matzevot?” was the question I asked myself upon revisiting Radoszyce’s Jewish cemetery after 25 years. As a child I would often go there, so I remembered the stone wall and the headstones. After all these years, I found the sight of the cemetery depressing – it was overgrown with bushes , the cemetery wall was damaged and only a few damaged tombstones remained at the site. Unfortunately, everything I had read about the cemetery’s devastation and lack of remaining tombstones turned out to be true.
I decided to do something about this situation. My curiosity led me to ask, search and explore. I obtained results of my query in no time. I would find matzevot in the fields, ruined houses and in backyards of other houses. They were used as pavement stones, stairs, sharpeners, often also as construction material. Since 2013, I have located and recovered over a dozen full headstones and a few dozen of smaller and larger matzevah fragments. I was never particularly interested in the topic of Jews or Judaism. I knew that prior to World War II, Jews comprised 49% of the general population in Radoszyce (around 3000 residents) and that tsaddik Isachar Dow Ber is buried at the local Jewish cemetery. Over time, my curiosity became my passion. I find and recover headstones that once were located at the Jewish cemetery in Radoszyce. I write down personal information from the surviving (recovered) matzevot in Radoszyce and Żarnowo and send the information, photo documentation and any updates to interested institutions. My research is often posted online by sites such as Virtual Shtetl.
I am a finishing process engineer. For the past 25 years I have been working in a Warsaw-based construction company. I visit Radoszyce every weekend, as my mother – an old and chronically ill lady I try to support – still lives there. Due to the character of my job, the only spare time I have I spend in Radoszyce. I also enjoy mountains, especially Tatry, cycling and sightseeing.