This monument was erected at the mass grave of the 1906 pogrom victims in the Bagnowke Cemetery in Bialystok. The upper portion of the monument has the names of the victims. On the lower portion is the epitaph "Pillar of Sorrow" which was composed by the famous poet, Zalman Sznejur. After WW II it's stately headstone was vandalized by Poles who cut it into three pieces, and discarded it near the outskirts of the cemetery.

Stand strong and be proud, you pillar of sorrow,

like marbel melt not in the blood of the holy martyrs beneath you,

nor dissolve into a flood of tears.

Even as states and peoples change, never move from

your place. Strike fear into them at night, hover over them like a

curse. A cold witness shall you be, telling what occurred

to the children who will come after us.

For the honor and the blood of our people were defiled,

as witnessed by the summer heavens.

The sun shone unabashed; the eyes of the world were not blinded.

Many fell dead, gunshots thundered, smoke plumed upward.

As many wept yet did they frivol, accepting the old plague.

To be sure they also shed tears to our God,

who granted eternity to his people.

To it he also gave death, the death of a sacrificial

lamb swimming in it's own blood.

A son estranged, straying from his farther,

tarrying in pain among strangers.

The father beckons to him from afar, return at once,

Your dark glance he should understand, why he is sick

of the world around him that erected these monuments.

Stand strong and be proud, you pillar of sorrow, like marble.

As states and peoples change do not move from your place.

by, Zalman Sznejur


Photo and English translation of epitaph from

The Bialystoker Memorial Book, New York, 1982