In Slovakia, a retired non-Jewish educator teaches Roma teens about the Holocaust at Jewish cemeteries

(JTA) — An activist attempting to preserve Jewish cemeteries in Slovakia has recruited several Roma teenagers to help with the task.

Vladimir Spanik, 73, involved the teenagers in cleaning up the Jewish cemetery of Vinodol, a town located some 40 miles east of the capital Bratislava, Reuters reported last week. Spanik has been volunteering to help motivate the teens to improve their socioeconomic situation.

“Part of it was that they wanted to help an old man,” said the retired educator, who is neither Jewish nor Roma. “But for me the main point is for them to learn about the Holocaust and the extremely painful moment it has been for so many Jews and Roma.”

Join Our Mailing List

Stay up to date on conference news and updates