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Torah scrolls recovered in eastern Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 23.08.2012 13:09
Two Torah scrolls have been recovered in eastern Poland and are currently being looked after by local authorities.

The recovered Torah scrolls: photo - policja.sokolowpodl.pl

It is believed that prior to the Second World War, the scrolls belonged to a synagogue in Wegrow, Sokolow county.

The matter came to light on Monday, after a local lady sought help in trying to sell the scrolls.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted a local policeman known in the region for his interest in historical matters.

“As soon as he saw how the tome looked, and realised that it was most probably the Torah, he decided that such a precious treasure should go to a museum,” revealed Sergeant Stanislaw Tomaszewski in an official statement released by the regional police headquarters in Sokolow Podlaski.

The policeman persuaded the woman to relinquish the relics without payment.

At first, she had explained that her grandfather had rescued the scrolls during the Nazi occupation, after the synagogue in Wegrow was set alight.

She later said that a Jewish man had given the scrolls to her grandfather for safe-keeping, but that the man never returned.

The scrolls have now been handed over to Mayor of Wegrow Krzyztof Fedorczyk.

According to Sergeant Tomaszewski, the scrolls have been ear-marked for the public library in Wegrow, where a museum documenting the region's Jewish past is being created.

However, Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich has told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the sacred texts should find a different home.

"The Torah was written so that it should be used during Jewish religious services,” Rabbi Schudrich said.

“The appropriate home both morally and historically would be with a living Jewish community in Poland,” he stated.

The fate of the scrolls remains unclear at present. (nh)

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