Tag: Poland

The First To Be Destroyed

Filed in Books by on August 30, 2017 0 Comments
The First To Be Destroyed

On September 15, 1939, two weeks after Germany’s invasion of Poland, German troops occupied the small town of Kleczew, population 2,996, and proceeded to impose a reign of terror on its 746 Jewish inhabitants. Some two years later, they were systematically murdered in a nearby forest. The Jewish community of Kleczew, as well as Jewish communities in […]

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In Czestochowa, A Return To The Past

Filed in Guest Voices by on July 23, 2017 0 Comments
In Czestochowa, A Return To The Past

I’m writing this from Czestochowa, Poland, where I was born 72 years ago. The city is best known for the Jasna Gora monastery. Visited by around four million pilgrims per year, it is a shrine to the Virgin Mary. The cloister houses the Black Madonna, one of the holiest icons of the Catholic Church. My […]

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Rewriting History In Poland

Filed in Jewish Affairs by on July 18, 2016 0 Comments
Rewriting History In Poland

As Poles wrestle with the extremely complex legacy of the Holocaust in Poland, where three million Polish Jews perished in six short years, a cabinet minister in Poland’s government has suggested that historical accounts of the 1941 pogrom in the town of Jedwabne may be nothing more than “very biased opinions.” As reported by the […]

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Disturbing Comments From Poland

Filed in Jewish Affairs by on November 15, 2015 0 Comments
Disturbing Comments From Poland

Is Poland’s new defence minister, Antoni Macierewicz, fit to hold public office? That’s a legitimate question following the disclosure that he flirted with the possibility that The Protocols of the Elders Of Zion, a notorious antisemitic tract, may be an authentic historical document, and that he supports its twisted thesis. In an interview in 2002 […]

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Poland’s New Jewish Museum

Filed in Jewish Affairs by on October 31, 2014
Poland’s New Jewish Museum

When I was last in Warsaw in the summer of 2009, the site of the future Museum of the History of Polish Jews was cordoned off to the public, and it wasn’t clear when construction would begin, much less end. The project to build a museum in honor of what had been one of the […]

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The Return

Filed in Arts by on October 27, 2014
The Return

Since the fall of communism in Poland in 1989, Poles who had concealed their Jewish ancestry with a zealousness bordering on fear and/or self-hatred have come out of the closet in droves, proclaiming and embracing their Jewishness to various degrees. The “new” Jews, whatever their Jewish lineage may be, are Jews by choice, says Poland’s […]

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The Crooked Mirror

Filed in Arts by on August 24, 2014
The Crooked Mirror

The Polish philosopher Jozef Tischner wrote, “When reflected in a crooked mirror, the face of a neighbor is distorted. The neighbor is always worse than we can imagine, he is false, treacherous, evil.” Tischner’s observations may be applied to Louise Steinman, an American Jew of Polish descent for whom Poland was “a black hole, a […]

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Unique Shopping Mall

Filed in Travel by on July 22, 2014
Unique Shopping Mall

It’s a mall with a difference. The Manufactura Center, a sprawling complex of bright red brick buildings in the heart of the Polish city of Lodz, looks a lot like any sleek shopping mall in North America or Europe. Set on 27 hectares at the corner of Zachodnia and Ogrodowa streets, this modern mall has […]

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Holocaust Survivor Tries To Build A Better World

Filed in Jewish Affairs by on July 8, 2014
Holocaust Survivor Tries To Build A Better World

Polish Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter draws on his horrific experiences during World War II to try to tear down walls of racial hatred and build a better world. In speeches inside and outside Canada, he preaches the virtues of tolerance and warns that genocide can repeat itself if its causes are allowed to fester. Now a […]

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Kazimierz — Outpost of The Past In Poland

Filed in Travel by on June 28, 2014
Kazimierz — Outpost of The Past In Poland

Having read Thomas Keneally’s novel, Schindler’s List, Hollywood film director Steven Spielberg sought to turn it into one of his signature movies. But where would it be shot? Instead of some back lot studio in Los Angeles, he chose the southern Polish city of Krakow, where German manufacturer Oskar Schindler had saved hundreds of Jews by […]

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