This mezuzah is part of a new series from Mi Polin titled “Mezuzah from this house.” Before World War II, Poland had 3.5 million Jewish inhabitants as well a few million mezuzot. Almost all of the Jews and their mezuzot perished during the war, with only traces and empty holes remaining today in the place of mezuzahs.“Mezuzah from this house” is a bronze cast of the traces left behind and commemorates the Jewish lives of pre-war Poland. Each mezuzah has an engraved letter Shin and the address where the trace was found on the side. After sitting untouched for many years, these mezuzot can now fulfill their holy function again.
The story behind this mezuzah:
Wojciech Mazan found a mezuzah trace in the building at 3 Maja Street in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski. After this discovery he met with building owner, mr. Jerzy Opidowicz. Wojciech explained him what mezuzah trace is and why it is worth to save. He also got a information that reconstructions will be started soon and the doorpost with a trace of mezuzah will be removed. Mr. Opidowicz, having information that mezuzah trace is important part of Jewish legacy offered Wojtek to take the doorpost for free. Wojtek knew our "Mezuzah From This Home" project and asked us if we can take care of the doorpost. We went to Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski to take part in the process of removing of the doorpost.
The house was built in 1910 by Kiwa Rosset - an Orthodox Jew and among the richest inhabitants of Ostrowiec. He operated a shoe store on the ground floor. In the outbuilding, a local photographer Geel Goldstein had his studio. Kiwa Rosset and his wife Sara Worcman had eight children:
– Beniamin: a member of the Judenrat in the Opatowiec Ghetto; he died in the Holocaust.
– Szprinca: murdered in the Holocaust.
– Zlata: murdered in Treblinka.
– Natan: survived the war, his wife died in the Holocaust
– Sara: murdered in the Holocaust
– Mosze: murdered in the Holocaust
– Yehudit: fate unknown
– Perla Balter nee Rosset: survived the war with three of her children. The rest of her family – her husband and two children – murdered in the Holocaust.