The Jewish Cemetery on Bracka street in ŁódźThe first Jewish Cemetery in Łódź was established in 1811 on Wesoła street. In the 1950s the location of the cemetery was converted into a housing complex. Today its existence is marked by a stone obelisk erected in 2004 through an initiative put forth by the city president, Dr. Jerzy Kropiwnicki.The Bracka street cemetery was established in 1892. An estimated 160,000 people are buried within its grounds, which stretch over an area of 98 acres, making it one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe. Over the course of its existence it became the final resting place to many prominent members of the Jewish community who were instrumental in the development of the city over the course of its history. Rabbis, factory owners, doctors, politicians, and activists are among the many buried there. Their monuments are often works of art in stone.The cemetery is also a place of rest for the victims of one of the greatest tragedies in human history - the Holocaust. In the section of the cemetery know as the “Ghetto Field” about 43,000 victims of the Łódź Ghetto are buried, who died as the result of disease and starvation. Their graves are rarely marked by a matzeva. In an attempt to restore the cemetery and the memory of its inhabitants a foundation was established. In spite of other restorative work being done at the cemetery, the “Ghetto Field” section was a top priority, so that the living descendants of those who perished could properly mark the resting place of their loved ones. The section itself became a kind of war memorial. (source)fot: Agnieszka Strzelecka
German residents are forced to bring the dead of nearby concentration camp Wöbbelin to a graveyard after its liberation. Ludwigslust, May, 1945.
Hand of Glory: The Macabre Magic of Severed Hands
A traditional form of punishment, under Sharia, Islamic law, and in Medieval Europe, involved publicly amputating a criminal’s body part, often the one used to commit a crime.
The pain of the amputation and the shame of the permanent mark served as punishment for the criminal, while the display of the severed limb functioned as a sinister warning to all onlookers: follow in this guy’s footsteps and you will suffer a similar fate. This macabre tradition likely has its roots in the Code of Hammurabi.
In Europe, the severed hands of criminals were displayed like relics to prevent future grievances (a thief’s arm still dangles in a Prague church). In most cases the owner of the hand was not known, but the provenance was usually irrelevant because the setting of the hand’s exhibition determined the story that was told about its origin.
The Haunch of Venison in Wiltshire, England, is a 684-year-old pub that was famous for its display of a cursed gambler’s hand. The hand was reportedly amputated from a gambler who was caught cheating during a game of whist a few hundred years ago. According to workers at the pub, a butcher chopped the gambler’s hand off and threw it into the fireplace. The grisly relic was discovered during renovation work at the pub in 1911 and was stored in a locked glass case with a pack of 18th century playing cards. In 2010, thieves unscrewed the glass cabinet and stole the criminal’s relic.
|—||Anne Rice (via thecadaverousportrait)|
Stunning photos of Poveglia - the most haunted place in the world - which is now up for sale by the Italian government. Photos include the mass graves of plague victims, the skull of a “vampire” with a rock shoved in it’s mouth to keep it from biting people, and the collapsing ruins of the insane asylum.
"A quarantine station, a dumping ground for plague victims, more recently a mental hospital — the tiny island of Poveglia in the Venice Lagoon has served many unpleasant purposes over the years, but today it stands empty, a crumbling collection of abandoned buildings and weeds run riot just two miles from the glittering palaces of the Grand Canal. Legends and rumors about Poveglia are nearly as pervasive as the weeds, and they read like a horror story: that so many people were burned and buried there during the black plague that the soil is 50% human ash; that local fishermen give the island a wide berth for fear of netting the wave-polished bones of ancestors; that the psychiatrist who ran the mental hospital was a butcher and torturer who went mad from guilt and threw himself from the island’s belltower, only to survive the fall and be strangled by a "ghostly mist" that emerged from the ground."
I made a post about Poveglia a while back. Fascinating place!