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  II Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Marii Konopnickiej w Zamościu  
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"To Bring Memory Back" edition 2005-2006

BILGORAJ - Middle school under patronage of UN


Who are we

BILGORAJ - Middle school under patronage of UN

What we do in the project

Project: Pupils adopt monuments

The Middle school under the patronage of United Nations is one of the oldest schools in Bilgoraj region. History of our school dates back to 1937, when “Prywatne Gimnazjum i Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace Towarzystwa Szkoly Sredniej” was founded. The beginning of the WWII didn't mean the end of the education for students, as it was continued in private houses in a form of secret lecturers. After the war the number of pupils starting education in primary or secondary school was constantly growing. There are several important dates in a history of our school: May 8 1986, when United Nations became patron of the school and 1994, when our school was included to the UNESCO List of Associated Schools – as the sole school in the Zamość Province. Another unique thing about our school is the fact that we have been cooperating with associated schools in France and Germany and we also develop partnerships with schools from Estonia, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy, in the framework of the “Comenius” School Project.

Our secondary school participates in numerous projects concerning history of our region. That is why we became interested in cooperation with Jewish community – since for many decades Jews were living in the same town with our ancestors.

Bilgoraj used to be a multinational town and since its foundation Jews were settling here. They were mostly merchants and traders. In the second half of the 17th century an autonomic Jewish community was founded and then in 1728 the synagogue was built; later in 1909 the Hebrew Print Shop was opened. In 1841 there were 1,637 Jews living in Bilgoraj, during the twenties there were 3,713 (in 1921) and in 1939 5,010.

During WWII Bilgoraj became a part of the German occupational zone. The citizens of Jewish origin were treated in the same way as the other Jews in Poland. In June 1940 Germans built a ghetto in Bilgoraj, where they deported about 2,500 Jews. In August 1942 some 800 Jews were taken to the concentration camp in Belzec, and on November 2, 1942 special SS troops completed the “Reinhard” operation in Bilgoraj.

The story of consistence of Polish and Jewish societies during the history of our town was a reason for joining in year 2002 to the project “Nasza wspolna przeszlosc – uczniowie adoptują zabytki”. Pupils from our school has prepared a document about the history of Jewish community in Bilgoraj, including information about Jewish cemetery and stories of those who were living in Bilgoraj before the war. We are also looking after Jewish cemetery in Bilgoraj, especially cleaning it up and documenting its matzevot.

Near our school there was an old Jewish cemetery, founded in 1725. Last burials were conducted on its area at the end of 19th century. During the WWII in spring 1941, cemetery was devastated by the German troops and its matzevot were used to build streets and sidewalks. Giant oaks were cut down and wood was taken to the Third Reich.

Photos from the Jewish cemetery in Bilgoraj

The Jewish cemetery in Bilgoraj      The Jewish cemetery in Bilgoraj

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