Saga Grybów is an association established in 2020, uniting activists operating since 2010 in the microregion of the city of Grybów in the province of Lesser Poland for the protection and promotion of the local multicultural heritage: Polish Catholics, Polish Jews and Lemkos. It undertakes social archivistics: collecting and publishing information, photos, souvenirs and memories, educating through social media, taking care of the Jewish cemetery in Grybów (Siołkowa) and a mass grave in Biała Niżna. It engages both local residents and descendants of the Jewish community in Grybów from the United States, Israel, France, Great Britain, Sweden, Slovakia and Argentina.
In 2011, with the participation of the members of the association in the USA, a biography of one of the citizens of Grybów Holocaust survivors was published – ‘The Horse Adjutant’. Since then, the association has managed to establish contact with thirty families of Grybów residents and pre-war emigrants. From that time on, the names and surnames of the Jews from Grybów were also collected, over 3,000 of whom were identified, of which over 1,700 were ghetto inhabitants in the years 1941-1942.
These names and surnames, in cooperation with the Popiel Family Center Foundation, were placed on the monument erected in 2019 as part of the “People, not numbers” project. The association carried out the first clean-up of the cemetery in 2013 with the participation of several people, family and friends. In 2019, thanks to the help of the “People, not numbers” project, there were already several dozen participants. In 2020, there were two group clean-up actions conducted, in 2021 already one.
Since 2015, every year, as partners with the Nomina Rosae Foundation and Dr. Łukasz Połomski, the association conducts meetings of remembrance and prayers over the mass grave of 360 Jews from the Ghetto ghetto, murdered on August 20, 1942 in Biała Niżna in “Aktion Reinhardt”.
In the years 2020-2021, thanks to social involvement (without grants), the association is developing the project “Silent Memorial – Grybowska Saga”, where street art artist Arkadiusz Andrejkow was invited for cooperation. In this project, the association transfers old photographs found in drawers and scrapbooks to the walls of the town and surrounding villages. The figures in the murals include all social and religious groups, including the victims of the Holocaust and members of their families buried in the Jewish cemetery in Grabów. The project is treated as a modern form of education for all age groups.
Plans for further actions:
- Carrying out the cleaning of the cemetery 2-3 times a year. Continuation of educational activities and website construction.
- Marking the route to the cemetery in cooperation with the state administration. The staff and students of the Warsaw University of Technology (whose off-site center is located in Grybów) were invited to cooperate in measuring and creating a map of the cemetery (area of 0.9 ha), the measurement planned in 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic.
- Renovation of the monument on the mass grave of 360 Jews in Biała Niżna in cooperation with the conservation services.
- Erecting a commemorative plaque and an information board at the place of the labor camp in Lipie in cooperation with the Gródek Commune on the Dunajec River.
Below are photos of cleaning works at the Jewish cemetery and the implementation of murals.