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Now, a Virtual Shtetl

Polish museum project

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(Getty Images)

An as-yet unanswered question: Rabbi, is there a blessing for the Virtual Czar? The Museum of the History of Polish Jews—which isn’t projected to open until 2011—has launched a Virtual Shtetl. It’s less a Pale of Settlement village than a Wikipedia-style website, purportedly filled with historical information on some 800 Polish shtetls. In truth, it’s an odd and not particularly robust site, currently offering only a smattering of photos and information on the village. But the museum hopes descendents of shtetl-dwellers will add more data to the site, beefing up its content. If it works, it will yield a useful trove of data when the museum actually opens—and, until then, it at least serves useful marketing purposes. And reminds us to keep our eye out for Virtual Cossacks.

Virtual Shtetl [Museum of the History of Polish Jews]
High-Tech Edge for Poland’s Jewish History [AFP]

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Please see my comment under Hands-On Synagogue

How wonderful of the Poles to reconstruct synagogues in Poland! AND they also will now have “A Museum of the History of Polish Jews”. Kind of reminds you of Hitler’s plan to make Prague a Museum of a Lost Race. If accurate this will be one depressing museum. Could this have anything with the Poles need for tourist dollars?? Make as many venues as possible for Jews to visit because there isnt much left of their actual life in Poland. Their Polish neighbors confiscated their homes and businesses . If you visit any memorials the Poles built to the victims of WWII you have to look very hard to find any mention that Jews died in the war or even lived in Poland. The Poles would also like you to believe that the fact that 95% of all concentration camps were in Poland is because “the Germans made us do it”. When the Poles killed survivors who tried to return to their homes after the war, that said it all! How dare they now try to make money exploiting the victims of the greatest tragedy in human history. Jews will continue to return to the graves of their ancestors, but to expect them to visit these insulting reconstructions by the people who applauded when their neighbors were burned in these synagogues, would be an insult to their memories. Unless they have changed since I was there in the 90s, you will not find a Jew involved in their Jewish History program.

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Now, a Virtual Shtetl

Polish museum project

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