Żyrardów | Unveiling of the monument “Macewa Pamięci” by Jerzy Kalina

On 21 February 2024, the “Macewa Pamięci” (Matzevah of Remembrance) monument was unveiled, commemorating the 5000 Jews from Żyrardów and the surrounding area who were murdered by the German occupying forces between 1940 and 1943

The monument, designed by Jerzy Kalina, was officially unveiled by the Director of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum Albert Stankowski, the Mayor of the City of Żyrardów Lucjan Krzysztof Chrzanowski and the Director of the Office for Commemorating the Struggle and Martyrdom Adam Siwek.

The location of the “Macewa Pamięci” is by no means accidental. The junction of 1 Maja and Mireckiego Streets) lies on the site of the former Jewish quarter, which was turned into a ghetto during the German occupation.

I would like to appeal to all the residents of Żyrardów gathered here today: let this memorial be not only a physical symbol of remembrance, but also an inspiration for annual meetings, discussions, reflections and actions for tolerance and respect towards other cultures and traditions, Albert Stankowski, Director of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, concluded his speech yesterday.

We would like to thank you for your numerous attendances and for symbolically commemorating the Jewish community of Żyrardów with us. We would like to express our thanks in particular to the authorities of Żyrardów, our partner the Institute of National Remembrance, and the guests present at the ceremony: Grzegorz Dobrowolski – Director of the Delegation of the Marshal’s Office in Żyrardów, Artur Hofman – President of the Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland, Mariusz Cichowicz, representing the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Repression, Joanna Bąk on behalf of the Polish Society of the Righteous Among the Nations, Rabbi Szalom Stambler – President of Chabad Lubavitch Poland, and the creator of the Matzevah of Remembrance, Jerzy Kalina.

We also owe a debt of gratitude for the presence and support of councillors, directors of cultural institutions and educational establishments. Special thanks are due to Ms Bożena Gąsiorowska and the students of the Stefan Żeromski High School in Żyrardów for their involvement in commemorating the Jewish residents of the town and their history.

The Żyrardow Macewa Pamięci is another commemoration of this kind, co-organised by the Warsaw Ghetto Museum. It is part of our institution’s mission to disseminate knowledge about the life, struggle and Holocaust of Polish Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto and other ghettos in German-occupied Poland.