• April 17, 2013
  • 71

Tidying up of the old Polish cemetery in Vandžiogala

© Kurier Wilenski

One of these days, in the old Polish cemetery in Vandžiogala (Kaunas district) on the church area premises, 27 trees have been cut down.

For many years, Vandžiogala dwellers, the Poles mainly, have been asking subsequent authorities to give help in tidying up the old trees in the cemetery. Sadly, to no avail. No representative of the authorities reacted to their requests, and the dwellers themselves were not allowed to do this. The trees, blown down after every smaller or larger storm, were destroying historic monuments that are 100 to 150 years old and even more, by breaking them.

There were appeals made to the Christian consciousness to preserve heritage and Polish historical tradition of this town – however, such arguments did not work, just the opposite… The Polish inscriptions on the monuments annoyed the local and district authorities, hence no one recognized them to be valuable, because Polish…let them deteriorate.

Last autumn, the members of the Vandžiogala department of the Association of Poles in Lithuania together with parish priest Oskaras Volskis who saw the terrible condition of the cemetery and agreed to help, publicized this problem. The picket line of local residents was organized, television was invited and the articles in the press and web portals were published. The local and district authorities were criticized for the lack of thrift, indifference and myopia relating to these problems.

We already have the result, so we can heave a sigh of relief that in the future the old Polish cemetery on the church area premises will not be destroyed. We also have the promise of the  local authorities: if it’s possible, they will help us to renovate broken monuments (tombstones).

So the events of last autumn in Vandžiogala bear good fruits that we enjoy.

Ryszard Jankowski

the President of the Vandžiogala department

of the Association of Poles in Lithuania

Source: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2013/04/17/porzadkowanie-starego-polskiego-cmentarza-w-wedziagole/

Tłumaczenie Barbara Rożek w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Barbara Rożek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu. 

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