Ostrow Mazowiecka, Poland

This town is where my father’s family came from. It is about 110 km. NE of Warsaw. I visited the town in June, 2015 and saw the site of the Old Jewish Market, pictured below, the Jewish Memorial, parks where families went for recreation, and actual addresses and streets where members of my family lived.

Even though 8-10,000 Jews lived in this town at one time, made up the majority of the population, and contributed immensely to the economy and stability of the town, one can scarcely find a trace of the former Jewish presence – a sad state of affairs but credible in the context of the Geopolitical conditions during the last two centuries. The two Jewish town cemeteries exist today as an unmarked field and patch of forest. Jewish gravestones – macevot – which were used as building material, have recently been salvaged and are now protected by a Polish Jewish organization.

The Old Jewish Market in the Center of Ostrow Mazowiecka

Andrew, Barry and Krzysztof Malczewski, my guide, at Ostrova Memorial Site. Over 800 Jews murdered here by Nazis November 1939.

Memorial erected in Ostrow Mazowiecka where over 800 Jews were murdered by Nazis in November, 1939.