Mary Polen Roman Funerals Paragraph

Many wealthy families owned private burial plots outside of the city walls. A momument on the plot honored the family’s dead. Some men built their tombs before they died! They prefered to be buried in personal mausoleums in a cavity under the floor of their mausoleum. Many trade associations or clubs paied for their members’ funerals. Some families kept their urns in their homes, but usually they arrange for the urn to be placed in an underground tomb called a columbarium. Most of them had places for hundereds or even thousands of urns! People who were too poor to afford any of these options were buried in mass graves. (Don Nardo) By the early Roman Empire, large groups of people started to believe that death was final. Sayings such as “I believe innothing beyond the grave” and “There is no Hades” started appearing of tomb stones.

Nardo, Don. Life in Ancient Rome. Sand Diego, CA: Lucent, 1996. Print.

Mary Polen Survivor Letter

Virginia Holocaust Museum

2000 East Cary Street

Richmond, VA 23223



Dear Selma Engel,

My name is Mary and I found a photograph found the same time period of the Holocaust. I would like to use your story in my museum and would also like your help understanding this photo; I’ve read your story from the website, and think that you could help me.

In this photo, several kids are listening to a violinist play in Westerbork. I remember when I read your story, that you spent a little time in Westorbork and said that it was a safe place and that it was like a village. I was hoping you could give me some more insight.

I would like permission to use your story in my exhibit for my museum. I believe that your story could help explain the photo and the time period. I would like to ask you about how you were treated in Westerbork and why you couldn’t stay there. Thank you if you are able to help.


Mary Polen