Mr Ireneusz Socha from Debica

I was born and raised in Debica. I work as a translator. In the years 1981-1993 I lived in the block of flats which was built in the immediate neighborhood of the Jewish cemetery in Debica.

Living in there I felt kind of guilty for the horrible state of the place and soon I developed a liking and interest in the history and culture of Polish Jews just to know more and perhaps to help change the cemetery's state in a way.
I several times wrote to alarm the then Jewish Communities' Congregation in the Republic of Poland. I wrote a few features on the cemetery for the local press in the Eighties. I also complained about the situation to the municipal authorities,who finally and upon Mr. Goldberg's motions, too, decided to build a fence around the place. This first fence, made up of concrete panels and iron Stars of David running alternately, was completed in 1983, shortly after the martial law. In consequence, I was treated as a Jew myself.

The authorities, neighbors, even friends and relatives considered me gone crazy or of Jewish origin. But I paid no attention and continued to chase away children and adults who devastated the place and even played games there.

Many times I witnessed visits from Israeli and American tourists searching for their families' graves in the cemetery. I watched them and tried to talk to them and explain what they saw. But rarely ever I seemed to be properly understood: the tourists' hearts were shattered at the sight of ancient matzevot crushed and piled up in disorder with children playing hide and seek among the ruins. The negative emotions prevalent. they did not believe me when I said that not every Pole had sucked anti-Semitism with his mother's milk. But what was there to explain when they returned year after year to see the place further littered and demolished. The little fence was gradually destroyed and anybody who wished to enter the cemetery would. Nothing really changed, because the residents of the adjacent block did not want to understand that the place demanded respect. Moreover, they were afraid of losing their apartments for a rumor had been spread that" Jews were going to buy the ground from the city and take the block down". Of course, in the communist days no city official bothered to dispel those stupid rumors.
Mr. Goldberg did not live to it, but at long last the Jewish cemetery in Debica wasdecluttered and surrounded with a new and solid fence. A new gate and a memorial plate were also funded by the Nissenbaum Foundation. Things look more optimistic now.