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


Fiberglass casting of a portion of the wall along Szeroka Street at the Remu Cemetery (or Old Jewish 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)
Architectural Elements
Object Type
Walls (aat)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:24:49
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