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Casting of a wall made from fragments of Jewish headstones at the Remu Cemetery in Kraków


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    Brief Narrative
    Fiberglass casting of a portion of the wall along Szeroka Street at the Remu Cemetery (or Old Jewish Cemetery, Remuh Cemetery) in Kraków, Poland, commissioned by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for installation in the museum’s permanent exhibition. The Remu cemetery was actively used for burials between 1551 and 1800, when Austrian authorities ordered all cemeteries in the city center to close. A new Jewish cemetery was opened the following year, and the Remu cemetery became known as the “old Jewish cemetery.” By the time German forces occupied Krakow on September 6, 1939, the Remu cemetery had fallen into disrepair and was poorly maintained. Over the course of World War II, the Germans destroyed what remained of the cemetery. As part of the German persecution of the city’s Jews, they implemented a forced labor program, established a Jewish ghetto in 1941, and began mass deportations to concentration camps in 1942. By the end of the Holocaust, less than 5,000 of the city’s and surrounding countryside’s former 70,000 Jews survived. As part of a restoration project in 1959, over 700 tombstones (some dating to the 16th century) were discovered buried under the ground surface. The intact stones were placed upright in rows, while the broken fragments were used to create a mosaic wall surrounding the cemetery. This wall is sometimes referred to as “Kraków’s Wailing Wall” or “Wall of Tears,” and serves as a memorial to the city’s destroyed Jewish community.
    manufacture:  after 1989 August 15-before 1991 March 18
    representation: Remuh Cemetery (Kraków, Poland); Krakow (Poland)
    manufacture: West Sussex (England)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
    front, stones, impressed: [Hebrew text]
    Manufacturer: Edward Lawrence Associates (Export) Limited

    Physical Details

    Architectural Elements
    Object Type
    Walls (aat)
    Physical Description
    Painted, fiberglass casting of a stone and mortar wall in four sections, the dividing seams of which are invisible on the front side. The wall resembles a mosaic, with the stone fragments in various sizes and shapes. Most of the fragments bear carved Hebrew text, and have carved leaves and other decorative elements interspersed throughout. At the top and bottom of the wall are thin lips that protruding a few inches. The stones and mortar are painted in various shades of tan, gray, and white. On the reverse, the three large seams are visible, cut in a jagged pattern, mirroring the shapes of the stones on the front. These seams are reinforced by exhibition supports and caulking.
    a. Left section
    b. Center-left section
    c. Center-right section
    d. Right section
    overall: Height: 124.500 inches (316.23 cm) | Width: 611.250 inches (1552.575 cm) | Depth: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm)
    a: Height: 101.500 inches (257.81 cm) | Width: 203.000 inches (515.62 cm) | Depth: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm)
    b: Height: 121.500 inches (308.61 cm) | Width: 136.625 inches (347.028 cm) | Depth: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm)
    c: Height: 124.500 inches (316.23 cm) | Width: 123.250 inches (313.055 cm) | Depth: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm)
    d: Height: 123.500 inches (313.69 cm) | Width: 158.375 inches (402.273 cm) | Depth: 3.000 inches (7.62 cm)
    overall : fiberglass, paint

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Kraków (Poland)

    Administrative Notes

    The wall casting was acquired by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991.
    Primary Number
    CA91.1.2 a-d
    Record last modified:
    2023-05-24 13:24:13
    This page:

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