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Recovered Torah scrolls bought by Polish village library


Two Torah scrolls, one complete and one incomplete, found last week in Poland's Sokolow Podlaski district, have a new owner.

The Torah scrolls found Aug. 20 are believed to have belonged to a synagogue in nearby Wegrow. They have been turned over to the Wegrow Public Library.

The two scrolls were discovered in Sokolow Podlaski district on Aug. 20. A local policeman was contacted by a woman who wanted to sell the scrolls. "She asked him to help her sell the old scrolls. The policeman thought, however, that such a precious treasure should go to a museum," Slawomir Tomaszewski, Sokolow Police press officer, told JTA.

The policeman brought the scrolls to Marcin Pasik, Sokolow Commune Head. They likely were lost to the Wegrow Jewish community during World War II. The synagogue in Wegrow was destroyed during the war and there are no Jews living in Wegrow now. Pasik gave the scrolls to Krzysztof Fedorczyk, the mayor of Wegrow district.

On Aug. 24, the director of the town's library, Malgorzata Piorkowska, came to Fedorczyk's office to tell him that she bought the scrolls from the owner. 

Piorkowska said that the scrolls would be located in a museum dedicated to the history of the Jews of Wegrow, which is soon to be launched. Piorkowska told reporters she sees no reason to return the Torah scrolls to the Jewish community, because in her opinion there are enough scrolls there.

The seller of the scrolls refused to comment on the matter. She said only that she asked the local prosecutor to examine the case of the policeman who took the scrolls.

"We are probing the case to confirm or not if the complaint is right or wrong. Our investigation will take up to 30 days," Leszek Soczewka, deputy district attorney of Sokolow Podlaski told JTA.

The woman first claimed that her father had saved the scrolls from a burning synagogue in Wegrow. Later, she said that the Torah scrolls were brought to her father by a Jewish friend who asked him to hide them during the war.



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