Authorities in Lublin, eastern Poland, held the city’s first Jewish Culture Festival this week, with organisers saying it marked “a new event on the region’s calendar”.
World-famous cantor Yoni Rose performed at the opening night, heralding the start of two days of Jewish tradition presented through music, performances, meetings and educational activities and the Polish Chief Rabbi, Michael Schudrich also took part.
Lublin Mayor Krzysztof Żuk said: “We wanted to show the history of our city and its multiculturalism by recalling the culture and life of that third of our Lublin inhabitants who are no longer there.”
The city is home to Poland’s largest Jewish cemetery, the pre-war community having numbered almost 45,000 – about a third of Lublin’s population at the time.
Tours of the graves of luminaries formed part of the festival and organisers said one of the aims was “to fill the empty space left by the former Jewish district”, which stretched around Lublin castle.
Poland’s Nazi occupiers established a ghetto, and in 1942 transported its inhabitants to Bełżec, where up to 500,000 were killed.
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