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October 28, 1994 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-10-28

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Some of the tombstones are fashioned today: Leo and
enry Ford was
others are covered with Rebeckah, Wolf and Isadore.
certain of one
Their lives seem ancient his-
thing: Jews were not sharp, fine weeds, with the
too — even those, like
patriotic and you names of the deceased virtually
couldn't find a one unreadable. It is as though the Joshua Grabowsky, who were
earth is slowly pulling all the part of such definitive events as
fighting in the war.
A Detroit weekly stones under its dark skin, and World War I.
A man's brains splattered on
called him a liar. Just look, no one is there to complain.
A stretcher-bearer's face;
Their names seem old-
the paper said, at Joshua
Mr. Grabowsky was a Detroit
native, the youngest of three
sons (with a sister who had been
on the stage), a handsome and
thoughtful young man who
liked buying presents for his
nieces. Mr. Grabowsky, the
paper noted, was serving with
Today, Joshua Grabowsky lies
under a worn tombstone at the
long-forgotten Free Sons of
Israel section at Woodmere
Cemetery in southwest Detroit.
It is the most neglected Jewish
cemetery in the city — a sad
garden of stone filled with the
graves of 34 unnamed infants,
men and women whose descen-
dants have long since left the
city, brothers and sisters who
perished of diseases for whom
prevention is today a quick shot
in the arm.
Located in Section North E of
the cemetery, the graves are
sheltered by a maple tree and a
pine, whose intricate cones lay
fallen, their dark tips scratched
and torn, throughout the ceme-
It Is the most neglected Jewish cemetery is Detroit.

A little-known Jewish

cemetery in Detroit
is home to forlorn tombstones.







His shook shoulders slipped
their load,
But when they bent to look
The drowning soul was sunk
too deep
For human tenderness.
World War I, British soldier
Isaac Rosenberg wrote in 1917,
was a "foul and endless war," a
time when the air was "loud
with death" and men with
"choked souls" wept and the
dark air "spurted with fire."
In 1917, Joshua Grabowsky
had one year to live.
His one remaining relative in
the city, his niece Lenore
Grabowsky, was a girl when
Joshua died. She remembers
,E 7 , 3 only a little about him: That a
Detroit newspaper (which one,
i-T; she doesn't recall) wrote about
gs Joshua, as a challenge to Henry
Ford's anti-Semitic charge; that
before going off to war he left
money with his sister, to be used
for gifts for his five young nieces;
that he was nice looking; that
he had a girlfriend who later
married somebody else.
"My mother was very fond of
him," she says.
Joshua Grabowsky was born
on March 31, 1885 and killed in
action Oct. 30, 1918 at Charny,
in the Verdun sector of France.
He was buried in France, then
his body was returned to be
buried in Detroit. A service was
held at Temple Beth El.
Two years before Mr.


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