In 1993 my mother and I traveled to her birthland of Poland and passed through Markuszów, where her grandfather was born and raised. There was no surviving trace of the Jewish community, save for the cemetery, which had only a few standing matzevot left. Among them was a pristine soulfully-inscribed matzevah amazingly bearing the given names of my grandmother and no surname. It would take me decades to prove the stone was that of my great-great grandmother. With that newfound knowledge came responsibility. A voice inside my head (and echoed by Kraków Professor Jonathan Webber) then resounded, “you have a responsibility to that cemetery.” To paraphrase Hillel, “if not us, who?”
Dan is also the volunteer president of Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland.