(JTA) – A Polish town unveiled a monument to thousands of its Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
The monument unveiled last Friday in Suwalki is at the site of the northeastern town’s synagogue destroyed in 1956 after being severely damaged by the Germans during the Nazi occupation.
Its inscription reads, in Polish, Hebrew and English: “In the memory of some 5,500 pre-war Jewish residents of Suwalki murdered during World War II as a result of the policy of extermination of the German occupier.”
Local Christian organizations were involved in the project to build the monument. Talks to recognize the town’s prewar Jewish population began in 2011.
The Jewish community of Suwalki was founded in 1821 and its Great Synagogue was built the same year. Local authorities razed the synagogue, which was in ruins.
Jews accounted for about one-third of the population of Suwalki before they were deported by the Nazis.