Town Makes the Horrifying Discovery That It's Built Out of Jewish Tombstones

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tags: Jewish history



Back in May, construction work for a new supermarket began in the center of Brest, a city in Belarus on the border with Poland. In a turn of events that wouldn't seem out of place in a horror film, more than 450 Jewish gravestones have since been discovered in the foundations of the houses that have been demolished to make way for the store.

Central Brest was once home to the Warburg Colony, a housing estate that was built to accommodate Jewish orphans after the First World War. When the Nazis arrived in 1941 the Brest Jews became victims of the Holocaust-ghettoized, moved to camps, and killed.

After the war, with Brest's Jewish community devastated, the Communists set about getting rid of the remnants of Jewish culture in the town. In 1959 they dismantled the Jewish cemetery-one of the oldest and largest in Belarus-and turned it into a sports stadium. As the dismantling process got underway, Communist Party members, along with enterprising locals, recognized the high quality of the headstones and "recycled them." As well as in the foundations of houses, these Jewish graves have since been discovered in the makeup of Brest's road surfaces, pavements, and gardens.




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