Jewish history in Warsaw once used to be a rich and flourishing one. Before the war almost 1/3 of the citizens of Warsaw were Jews. During the war the Jewish culture was almost totally destroyed by the Nazis. Today the Jewish community is well-functioning but nevertheless small, with its most obvious signs being the Nożyk Synagogue and the Jewish Theatre.
The Cemetery, the biggest cemetery in Warsaw, was created about 200 years ago. It hosts the graves of such important people as amongst others Ludwik Zamenhof, inventor of the Esperanto language or Julian Stryjkowski, Polish writer and author of “Austeria”. Remember to visit the grave of Marek Edelman, a great Pole who saved people’s lives during the war, helping them hide from the Nazis, and after the war as a surgeon. The grave is situated about 300-400 metres to the right of the main entrance, on the left side of the main path. Also interesting are the monuments, water fountains and broken matzevas located directly to the right side of the entrance.
Untypical (and apparently not permitted in Jewish culture) are pictures of humans on the grave plates, which also makes this cementery quite special.
If you find the topic of tragic Jewish history in Warsaw interesting, make sure you visit: the area of the Warsaw Ghetto – look for metal tiles in the pavement behind the church Świętego Andrzeja (ul. Elektoralna and ul. Chłodna), the Monument for Victims of the Ghetto Uprising (ul. Zamenhofa) and the former train station Umschlagplatz (ul. Stawki).