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Jewish Journal

‘Ner Tamid - Eternal Light’ – bringing back the memories of the German Jews in a Polish town.

by Klaudia Klimek

December 11, 2012 | 9:26 am

Up to 1945 Trzebiatów now a town of Polish West Pomerania was part of Germany. The history of the last 60 years, gradually erased all traces of the former local Jewish community. Devastated during Kristallnacht, the synagogue survived the war, but was demolished in the early years after the arrival of the new settlers. The Jewish cemetery was destroyed in the early 70s. The city without those places and forms of commemoration lacked the memory of the people.

It might have been like that still, but thanks to Krzysztof Baginski, a resident of Trzebiatow and a student of Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts and his project this can change.

The main feature of his project "Ner Tamid" is its apparent immateriality. The project is based on the technical properties of the ultraviolet radiation. Located on the eastern wall of the building (and the former eastern wall of the synagogue) the word "Ewiges Licht / נר תמיד / Wieczne Światło" made with colorless ultraviolet paint, will be visible only after dark, with a special UV lamp. The inscription, though physically exists, is readable only by highlighting that will take place for 8 nights connecting it to the holidays of Hanukkah. However, it began on Dec. 9, in the second of the eight days of the holidays and will end one day later symbolically extending the memory of the Jews of Trzebiatów.

The project is co-organized by the Cultural Centre of Trzebiatów, Jewish Community in Szczecin and Vocational Training Centre in Trzebiatów. The project was granted full support of the mayor of Trzebiatów Mr Zdzisław Matusewicz.

The illumination of the monument was accompanied by lectures and workshops related to the presence of Jews in Trzebiatów and Poland which were organized by the members of the Young Jews Club “Be’Yahad” from the Jewish Community in Szczecin.

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