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In October 2014 my wife and I went to Stawiski Poland to see where my mother and the Brozozowska/Barron family had come from. Stawiski is a small town about three hours from Warsaw, surrounded by farmland and far from the cities. We traveled there with Hubert Pawlik, a Polish guide from Warsaw who is familiar with the area. Hubert helped us find the abandoned Jewish cemetery outside of Stawiski as well as the place in Plaszczatka forest outside of town where 740 Jews were murdered by the Nazi's in 1941. These pictures show both of those places as well as pictures of buildings still standing in the town that my mother would likely have seen in her daily life as a small girl.

After Stawiski comes images for a new project, A Tour of Memory - Echos From a Lost Jewish Culture. These are pictures made in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany. Pictures made as I began to grasp that the holocaust was not just about the deaths but also about the destruction of a beautiful and vibrant culture. These are pictures about the ghosts you can see in the abandoned Synagogues and streets
The road runs from Lomza towards Stawiski. Near the town is an unmarked spot, the Jewish CemeteryOnce parked you walk into the fields.  The cemetery is long abandoned.  There are no markings.The location is peaceful.  Just a few feet away a small stream flows.You walk to the top of a small rise.  Looking down you see what remains of the cemeteryThe stones are scattered and broken but the sense of place remains.Clearing away the overgrowth you can see the stones with their Hebrew or Yiddish letteringFor the most part they are unreadable but the stones are living proof we were hereAnd even when they are buried they still tell the storyWe are not alone. Someone has come and left a memorial candle, but no one knows for who or when they cameLooking towards the road you can see the overgrown beauty of this placeAnd turning back I took one more look I will not forget.The town of Stawiski is about 75 miles from Bialystock on the road from LomzaA church overlooks the town square.  The priest was welcoming and let me photograph insideThis is what I always imagined the back alleys of the town  might look likeHere on this spot in the town stood the great synagogue.This picture shows what the great synagogue looked like.  Look carefully at the house on the left

Guestbook for 15000 - Stawiski and A Tour of Memory
Scott Shore, Temple B'nai Moshe, LaSalle, Illinois(non-registered)
Thank you for sharing this slice of our history and insight to the plight of our ancestors.
rabbi anne brener(non-registered)
my breath away
Mark Aronson(non-registered)
Thank you for allowing us to come along on your journey. Our own roots must be close by.