Hidden WWII Torah scroll in Polish monastery is returned

The mayor of Dabrowa Tarnowska gave the scroll to conservationists, and today it can be seen in the prayer hall of the former synagogue in southern Poland.

 

WARSAW, Poland — A Torah scroll that since 1942 has been hidden in a Tuchow monastery was returned to the synagogue in Dabrowa Tarnowska in southern Poland.

A Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225 - Photo: Alma Mater Studiorum Universita' di Bologna

This Torah scroll is a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225 – Photo: Alma Mater Studiorum Universita’ di Bologna

The Torah was returned earlier this month but reported for the first time on Saturday.

It had been brought to the monastery in Tuchow, approximately 60 miles from Krakow, by an anonymous person who asked the Redemptorist priests to hold the scrolls until the synagogue in Dabrowa again became a place of prayer, according to Father Kazimierz Piotrowski of the Redemptorist monastery in Warsaw.

“After the war for many years the synagogue was systematically devastated. The Torah was thus kept in a monastery in Tuchow,” Piotrowski told the Catholic News Agency.

The synagogue in Dabrowa Tarnowska was built in the second half of the 19th century; during World War II the Germans turned it into a workshop. Over the past few years the building was renovated and it is now the House of Cultures in Poland.

Following the building’s dedication, the Redemptorists decided to donate the Torah scroll there. In 2010, the mayor of Dabrowa Tarnowska gave the scroll to conservationists, and today it can be seen in the prayer hall of the former synagogue.

 

View original JTA publication at: http://www.jta.org/2013/08/25/news-opinion/world/torah-scroll-hidden-in-polish-monastery-returned

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