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Introduction David Cohen Krystyna Nowakowska
"I am glad that I dared to initiate the project"

Krystyna Nowakowska, former director of the cultural organization Odnowica, launched the project Pamietnik (Diary) in 2007, engaging young people to read and learn about Dawid Rubinowicz and the former Jewish community of Bodzentyn.
© Bodzentyn.net 2009.

Krystyna Nowakowska has been living with her husband Radek Nowakowski in Dabrowa Dolna, a village nearby Bodzentyn, since the mid 1990s. As the head of the cultural organization Odnowica Krystyna Nowakowska received a phone call in the summer of 2006 from a woman who claimed to make inquiries about the Jewish cemetery on behalf of a man currently living in Sweden. When Krystyna Nowakowska discussed the issue of the cemetery with mayor Marek Krak he informed her of a diary that was written by a Jewish boy during the Nazi occupation of the city. It turned out that Krystyna’s husband Radek Nowakowski was keeping a copy of that book – The Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz – at home in his library.

In 2007 Krystyna launched the project Pamietnik (Diary) supported by the Stefan Batory Foundation tolerance program. In the project young people were engaged to attended different workshops. Several of them also participated in cleaning the Jewish Cemetery.

"The Diary was instrumental for people to approach this subject anew", says Krystyna Nowakowska. After the first project several teachers began teaching about Dawid Rubinowicz in school. "It was not so easy for me to bring up this topic", Krystyna says. "I did not know so much about it. In retrospect I am glad that I dared to initiate the project."

One of the workshops in the project called Pamietnik (Diary); young people learn how to write Hebrew letters.
© Krystyna Nowakowska 2007.

Young people in Bodzentyn read the Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz.
© Krystyna Nowakowska 2007.

After studying the Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz the young people who participated set out to recreate scenes from the book using a pinhole camera. The images were edited so that they would recall the 1940s. Some of the photographs were arranged with subtitles in poster formats and exhibited at the local high school. The local historian, Stefan Rachtan, made a speech about Dawid Rubinowicz and the former Jewish community of Bodzentyn.

This photo was taken with a camera obscura, depicting the life of Jews in Bodzentyn in the time of Nazi occupation. The scene is inspired by the Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz.
© Krystyna Nowakowska 2007.

Krystyna Nowakowska also directed the process to set up a play based on the Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz. It was performed for the first time on 28 September 2008, as part of the first official commemoration of the lost Jewish Community.

On 28 September 2008 the play based on The Diary of Dawid Rubinowicz was performed for the first time in Bodzentyn by local actors: Martyna Iwan, Sabina Nowakowska, Ewa Dziuba, Milena Winiarska, Antoni Anyz, and Patryk Dyk. Script and direction: Dorota Anyz and Artur Anyz.
© Bodzentyn.net 2008.
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