Being fairly well acquainted with the Polish cemetery at Tengeru (my wife's grand-parents are buried there), I'd like to give my take on the mystery of some graves, as noted by Stefan.
But I must first compliment him on his attention to detail.
To start with, I wish to make some comments on the positioning of graves in general. There seem to be no hard and fast rules, neither among Christians nor among Jews. But it is true that the large majority of graves in Europe and the USA are oriented towards the east, i.e. the Holy Land. But what is the situation in say Australia? Facing north-west?
Stefan you should know.
At the same time, graves are invariably aligned in the same direction, if only for the practical reason to save space.
Many Jews place their graves in the same direction as Christians, i.e. towards Jerusalem. At other times, the bodies in Jewish graves lie with their feet towards the entrance of the cemetery to symbolise that the deceased will leave after the resurrection.
The latter is the case at the Tengeru cemetery, although this may be pure coincidence.
The fact that the Christian and Jewish graves at Tengeru stand at an angle and are separated from one another must be have been a conscious decision of the (British) authorities of the Tengeru Settlement. Separate grave sides (other than for the military) are a normal phenomenon when members of different faiths are buried in the same place.
Of course the most intriguing is the story of the two Anna Koplewiczes who are supposedly buried at Tengeru. One under a tombstone with a Cross; the other (with the added name `née Rein') under a gravestone with the Star of David.
My guess is that something must have gone horribly wrong here with the record keeping. It seems that things were not so perfectly organised at the Polish Settlement as we may want to believe.
The name Anna Koplewicz does not appear in the Red Cross list of Polish refugees to Africa. But Anna Rein is mentioned. Her year of birth (no date mentioned) is given here as 1923.
The caption on the photograph of the grave of the Jewish Anna Koplewicz on the website http://polskiecmentarzewafryce.eu/cmentarz/1#202,
mentions 26.10.22 as her date of birth. But look again: the date on her tombstone reads 28.10.22; exactly the same date on which the Christian Anna Koplewicz is supposed to have been born.
The same first and surnames. The same dates of birth. Finally, they supposedly died within a few days of one another, i.e. on 01.05 and 04.05.1944 respectively.
To my mind this is too much of a coincidence to be true. Based on this remarkable coincidence and on the fact that the name of Anna Koplewicz is missing from the Red Cross list, I can only conclude that the Christian Anna Koplewicz never existed. Her tombstone must cover the grave of another person!
There is other circumstantial evidence for my premise: the Jewish tombstone of Stanislawa Koplewicz (obviously the daughter of Anna Koplewicz née Rein). Admittedly her date of birth is given as 2.5.1944, i.e. a day after her mother died, but I attribute this again to improper record keeping. It seems logical to assume that the mother died during childbirth and her baby soon thereafter.
Another intriguing aspect, but now I move into the realm of speculation. The Red Cross List mentions the name of Samuel Rein born in 1943 who was in Tengeru. Did Anna Koplewicz née Rein have another child before, perhaps born out of wedlock? And was the father of her second child Stanislawa, a man by the name Szymon Koplewic (without the `z' at the end) born 06-05-1913, who was also at Tengeru?
Poor record keeping could also explain the unnamed Jewish tombstone.
In this connection we ought to remember that the tombstones were placed well after the deaths occurred.
The odd, slanted orientation of one of the Jewish tombstones might well be attributed to the fact that over the years, it was simply moved. Before a fence was erected around the cemetery, lots of local people and cattle roamed the site. I know that one or two graves were even vandalised.
Thanks to the good work Polish embassy and before that due to the diligence of a local Polish couple, the Polish cemetery at Tengeru is nowadays in perfect shape; a far cry from the municipal cemetery, still in use, in the nearby town of Arusha, which looks like a garbage dump.
Not all persons interred at Tengeru died from diseases they brought with them from their ordeal in the Soviet Union and their long odyssey afterwards. Quite a number died from malaria against which they had no immunity.
Besides, a number of Polish people were buried here well after the Polish Settlement at Tengeru closed in 1952, a process that is on-going, although only a handful of Poles are left in Tanzania.