Kolbuszowa Favorites

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    My daughter finding "Rzasa" stones
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    Bicycles and cemetaries ~2003

    by Pawtuxet Updated Jul 21, 2009

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    Favorite thing: Both bikes and cemetaries are very much a part of daily life here. Daily life moves slower than in cities and there is always the presence of the church, cemetary, and roadside shrines. Cemetaries are not forgotten...but visited, cleaned, and decorated regularly. A respect that I find refreshing and endearing. In the 2nd photo...the last of the visitors prepare the graves for All Saints Day as twilight falls.

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    Visit All Saints Cemetery-intrigueing!

    by Pawtuxet Updated Jul 11, 2009

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    Jozef Rzasa stone
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    Favorite thing: I found the cemetary to be fascinating. Of course I was excited to finally find my family's name on many of the stones, but aside from that...the cemetary was very different from what I've known at home. Every inch of space has been used. Sometimes you can barely walk between the stones, so dense are the markers. I was fortunate to be in the country during the week prior to All Saints/ All Souls Day on one of my visits. Everyone was cleaning and decorating grave sites to ready them for the major celebration on November 1. Thousands of flowers and candles brightened every cemetary.

    An example of a decorated grave site. Scrubbed tombstone...candles in glass jars, and of course...flowers. There are thousands of flowers distributed in Poland for a host of reasons....but probably the largest accumulation of buds is in the cemetaries for All Souls Day.
    This is one of the stones I found with my family's name on it. Now my work is cut out for me to try to connect all these names into a family tree. Not sure I'll ever get to the end of this project.
    Not only was I amazed at the density of the cemetary at the All Saints Church, but the level of activity to prepare for this special day was truly unique. All week long there was this steady stream of people with scrub buckets and garden tools walking to the cemetary to scrub the stones and clean the area for that special day. Many arrived on bicycles....few came in cars. Later I learned that some people who were in more populated areas, would visit 3,4, or 5 cemetaries for relatives who were dispursed into other parishes. There were traffic jams in Warsaw for 2 or 3 days surrounding this holy day. Bumper to bumper traffic all the way til 11 PM at night. Just amazing.

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    Jewish Cemetary ~ 2003

    by Pawtuxet Updated Jul 18, 2008

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    Favorite thing: We took a ride down a side road, uncertain of what we would find. We came upon a Jewish cemetary which looked as if it had been revived once or twice over the years. There was a crumbling stone wall which had a wrought iron fence constructed outside of that at a later date. We ventured in to see what we would find.
    Gosia noticed that someone had been here to clean a few of the stones so that the lettering could be read. Of course I couldn't read the stones, but was happy to know that someone had come to care about them. At one time prior to the war, Kolbuszowa had a 50% population of Jews, and 50% Catholic. Of course, since WWII there aren't very many Jews left in Poland.
    At the gate as you leave the cemetary you can see the area is very rural. Beyond the car are wide fields where crops were recently harvested.

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    Pre-War Emblem of Kolbuszowa ~2003

    by Pawtuxet Updated Aug 21, 2006

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    Favorite thing: The town of Kolbuszowa was at one time a mixture of 50% Catholics and 50% Jewish. There was evidentally quite a spirit of cooperation between the two groups as we can see from their emblem.
    Note: the cross and the Star of David...above and below the shaking hands.

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