In Modrzyca (Lubusz Voivodeship), the former Evangelical cemetery was cleared before November 1. – I imagine people who came to these areas from the east. They also would like someone to take care of the graves of their loved ones, says one of the participants.
The cemetery in Modrzyca is almost 150 years old. It was founded in 1869. There used to be beautiful marble tombstones, there was a poplar alley leading down the middle, and the entire area was fenced. Today, old tombstones are buried in the bushes in the Przytok Forest District.
Marek Grzelka could not watch history disappear under the “cloak of green”. He decided to do something about it. Since March, he has been organizing clean-up campaigns for the former Evangelical cemetery. Before November 1, he organized another action under the slogan “Rob the German”. “Help rake the area of the hundred-year-old Evangelical cemetery where the inhabitants of the village of Modritz are buried. Germans. But there are also graves of Poles buried there shortly after 1945,” he wrote.
“A living history lesson”
Piotr Pilarz did not previously know that it was an Evangelical cemetery. He found out the day before the operation in which his daughter was taking part. – It is neglected, there are damaged tombstones and broken slabs – he admits.
The action was joined by, among others: students of the primary school in neighboring Otyń. As their teacher Krzysztof Igiel admits, it is a living history lesson. – This is a place of memory for someone’s family. In the age of the Internet, people will probably search for these graves and find their ancestors. These are people who lived in these lands – emphasizes Igiel.
They not only raked, removed leaves and garbage, but also solved historical puzzles. They tried to compare the names from the graves with the names from the parish books, which, in addition to the age of the deceased, also contain an annotation regarding the profession of the deceased person. Thanks to this information, it is possible to determine who they are dealing with. – Someone completely anonymous, lying there for years, covered with earth and leaves, turns into a person who once existed – emphasizes the organizer of the action.
For example, many inhabitants of Modrzyca were engaged in transport across the Oder or in shipbuilding. – It also sheds new light on the society of these lands at that time – adds Grzelka
Among those buried in the cemetery is Reinhold Helm. – He was the president of a certain department of the Reichsbahn, i.e. German railways, and he took care of securing materials for the construction of the railway line from Nowa Sól to Wolsztyn – says Grzelka.
– There is one person who was a waiter, so we already know that there must have been an inn or an inn here – says one of the participants of the action. This is confirmed on the postcard. – A stone in the forest turns into a person – emphasizes Grzelka.
The participants also tried to put together the tombstones that had been broken into small pieces.
– The graves are indeed devastated. People thought that God knew what treasures were buried here. The graves were turned the other way, thrown over, broken. The tombstones are made of puzzle pieces – says Marta Brych, a participant of the action.
After World War II, no one took care of former German graves. – It is enough that one person has harmed someone and we treat the entire nation differently and are hostile – points out Pilarz.
And Marta Brych draws attention to a different context of this case. – I imagine people who came to these areas from the east. They also would like someone to take care of the graves of their loved ones, he notes.
Main photo source: TVN24