Project “Yiddisher Huiz”
Humanity has suffered a catastrophic event, from which it will never escape nor recover. Humanity was dragged into a state of mass humiliation, rape, and genocide. This cannot be forgotten. The only consolation possible is derived from a sense of duty to ask who were these innocent people, the murdered Jews of the Holocaust? Remembering them is a way to bring humanity itself back to its original meaning: compassion, brotherly love, fraternity, and fellow-feeling.
To realize this sense of humaneness and benevolence, we need to make a personal relationship with each one of them. We must meet them in their everyday lives and religious and cultural practices: lives that were filled with joy, serenity, and a sense of normality to which all humans regardless of race or creed share a claim.
The Yiddisher Huiz is composed of three homes which belonged to three Jewish families of Tarnow. It is now a reimagined Jewish home in a museum format. The Yiddisher Huiz Museum represents all of European Jewry murdered in the Holocaust. In the Yiddisher Huiz, we will see and feel a Jewish presence, experience the scents of Hannukah sweets, hear the sound of screams and laughter from children.
The Yiddisher Huiz will represent many things to its visitors. First and foremost, it is a declaration of repentance by two Christians who carry the burden of Christian blame for the Holocaust. Nations of murderous Christians have not paid in any way for their crimes against the Jewish people. It is a crime that continues to disrupt our sense of morality for centuries and millennia to come.
Project “Yiddisher Huiz”
Fundacji Malgorzati i Renato Rossetto.
Museum Yiddisher Huiz plac Rynek 18 TARNOW Poland 4000 m2.
We will commemorate life – not death
An interview with Renato Rossetto, an Italian businessman, who bought a row of houses on the market square in Tarnów and donated them to house a future museum commemorating the Jews who died in the Holocaust.
How did you become interested in Tarnów so much that you bought houses in the old city centre?
It’s very simple. My wife Małgorzata was born in Tarnów. She grew up there and went to school there. We go there regularly and I like the city very much. I like to visit Tarnów.
Supposedly, the original reason for buying the buildings on the market square was to open a shopping centre in them. Is that true?
Yes. That was the idea. The market square seemed to us an ideal place for such business because it attracts people. But this will not happen.
Buildings in the Tarnów market square were to become a shopping centre. Instead they will house a museum
In the basement of the house which before the war belonged to a Jew, the builders found dollars and British pounds. When I took this money in my hand, it occurred to me that I should build a museum here to commemorate the Jews who at one time constituted a significant group of Tarnów residents. I believe this will be important to many people. Much more than just another store.
But this means you will not have a return on your investment.
Well, that’s true. In any case, I no longer own these houses. I donated them to the Rossetto Foundation, which will organise the exhibition. A good businessman must also be a bit of a philanthropist.
What will this museum be like?
The museum will showcase what Jewish life was like before the war. What their flats and synagogues looked like. What were their customs, culture, and traditions. How they worked and did business. How they celebrated their holidays. This is to be the opposite of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim. There, the death of Jews is commemorated. We would like to commemorate their lives. But not only the lives of the thousands of Jews from Tarnów who died during the war, but all six million victims of the Holocaust.
When will the exhibition be ready?
I hope it will be soon, but it’s not up to me. We handed over the buildings and that’s where our role ends. Now we are hoping that the Jewish community will find the funds to organise the exhibition.
Do you have any other plans for Tarnów besides the museum?
I do. I assume that once the museum opens, many tourists from all over the world will come to the city. Most of them will be Jews. We already have a hotel in Tarnów which could host them. We also want to open a kosher restaurant, a house of prayer and buy some buildings in Tarnów’s old town that would house kosher stores. This will be a miniature version of a real pre-war shtetl.
Renato Rossetto wants to open a mini version of a pre-war shtetl in Tarnów