Mi Polin Bronze Mezuzah - WARSZAWA, UL. PROZNA 14
This mezuzah is a part of the Mi Polin "Mezuzah From This Home" project, which commemorates the Jewish life of pre-war Poland by taking mezuzah casts from the door frames of once-Jewish homes. They symbolize the emptiness of now-vacant homes, the remembrance of those who lived there, and the reclaiming of the mezuzah, which for years remained empty but now can fulfill its role again.
Each mezuzah is cast in bronze, with a Shin and the place where it was cast engraved on the side. It has an open space in the back for a scroll. (Use the drop-down menu to purchase your mezuzah with or without a scroll.)
Learn more about the "Mezuzah from the Home" project in this Times of Israel article.
This bronze cast commemorates 14 Próżna Street, located in the former Warsaw Ghetto area. During the war, two Polish residents sheltered two Jews. All of them survived the war.
In 1899, the four-story tenement at Próżna 14 was built by Mayer Wolanowski, owner of the Factory of Screws and Wires in Warsaw. Próżna 14 was a luxury building with flats for rent. The street itself had a typical mercantile character. On the ground level were shops and workshops: Meerson and Epstein's department store, ironmongers Maurice Graff and "H. B. Lebelsond", a shop of P. Brykier with wooden boards for frames and “Autoprodukt” (phone number 2 65 24). Mordka Berghauer was a saddler there.
From December 1940 to March 1941, Próżna 14 was a part of the Warsaw Ghetto. In 1943, the Polish tailor Rogoziński sheltered 2 Jews, Notke and Mietek, in this building. The watchman of the building, Jabłoński, the building owner, and Notke and Mietek built a double wall in the hall of Próżna 14 with a secret exit in case of danger. All of them survived the War.
In 1944, during the Warsaw Uprising, a barricade was erected between buildings number 9 and 14. Number 14 was the headquarters of 9th squadron of the “Kiliński” battalion, from which they prepared their attack on the PAST building (Polish Telephone Joint-Stock Company), one of the most important battles during the Warsaw Uprising. The soldiers of "Kiliński” battalion won the battle after 20 days of fighting.
Zbigniew "Chemist" Grabowski, grandfather of Helena Czernek (a co-founder of MI POLIN), took part in this battle. A field hospital and a kitchen serving the insurgents were located in the basement of Próżna 14.
From the September 5, 1944 staff report: “The building at Próżna 14 is burning. The fire couldnt be located. The troops were evacuated to Próżna 9.”
After the war, the tenement at Próżna 14 became the property of the Polish National Treasury. It has never been renovated, and fell into disrepair. It had a social housing character. Currently, it is impossible to enter Próżna 14 because of the building's poor condition. Recently, the building was completely looted.
Próżna is the only street within the area of Warsaw Ghetto that survived the war and kept its original buildings. Because of this, Próżna is an important tourist destination. The future of building is unknown.
Dimensions: 3.5 x 1 inches
Made in Poland.
Mi Polin, meaning “from Poland” in Hebrew, is the first brand that designs and produces Judaica in Poland since the end of World War II, the Holocaust, and forty-five years of Communism. This contemporary design studio specializes in Jewish objects, branding for Jewish institutions, and graphic design. Their design refers to "hiddur micva" (a Slavic transliteration of “mitzvah”), which demands that ritual artifacts be beautiful, while also emphasizing their multi-faceted nature. Mi Polin was founded by Aleksander Prugar and Helena Czernek.