Polish interior minister orders investigation into naked video at gas chamber

A general view of a gas chamber at the former Stutthof Nazi concentration camp near Gdansk, Poland. (Bruce Adams/Pool/Getty Images)
A general view of a gas chamber at the former Stutthof Nazi concentration camp near Gdansk, Poland. (Bruce Adams/Pool/Getty Images)

A general view of a gas chamber at the former Stutthof Nazi concentration camp near Gdansk, Poland. (Bruce Adams/Pool/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Poland’s interior minister has instructed prosecutors to follow up on an investigation by groups representing Holocaust survivors on a video featuring nudity that was filmed at a former death camp in the country.

Mariusz Błaszczak transferred the dossier on the video that was filmed inside the gas chamber at Stutthof, he said Friday on Twitter. Two days earlier several groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, had sent a letter to Polish President Andrjez Duda noting the video was traced back to Stutthof and demanding to know who gave permission for the filming. [Read more…]

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Polish Jewish leaders offer support after attack on Warsaw Muslim centre

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – Leaders of the Polish Jewish community expressed sympathy with the Muslim community after an attack on a mosque in Warsaw.

On Monday night, rocks and bricks were thrown at the Muslim Cultural Center in Warsaw, smashing the windows of the building. The buildings garden also was destroyed by the vandals. The perpetrators did not get inside the building. Security camera footage shows at least two people perpetrating the attack. It is not the first time the mosque has been targeted. [Read more…]

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Naked game of tag was filmed at a Nazi gas chamber

(JTA) – Groups representing Holocaust survivors have asked Poland’s president to explain why artists were allowed to film a naked game of tag inside a gas chamber in the former Nazi death camp of Stutthof.

On Wednesday, the Organization of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and several other groups sent the request for clarification to President Andrzej Duda in connection with a video that the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow displayed in 2015 without divulging any details on where it was filmed. The letter was sent after research revealed the location was Stutthof, near Gdansk, Poland. [Read more…]

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‘No Jews allowed’ banner seized from Polish hotel

(JTA) – Polish police seized a banner reading “no Jews, speculators and traitors allowed” from the entrance to a hotel that reportedly is owned by an ultranationalist who is jailed for anti-Semitic hate speech.

Officers were sent to Dom Polski near the western city of Wroclaw Thursday night following the surfacing of images on social networks showing the banner on the gate to the Dom Polski hotel in the eastern suburb of Cesarzowice, Paweł Petrykowski, a spokesperson for the police department of the Lower Silesia Province, told TVP, Poland’s national public broadcaster. [Read more…]

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Polish Jewish leaders meet with ruling party leader in wake of nationalist marches

(JTA) – Leaders of Polish Jewry said they flagged what they termed rising intolerance in the country during a meeting with a ruling party politician, but the party denied the subject was broached.

Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich and Leslaw Piszewski, the president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, met Friday with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a founder of the Law and Justice Party, to discuss various topics, including the “issue of growing intolerance towards various minorities, including the Jews,” Schudrich told JTA Monday. [Read more…]

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Buried testimony from the Warsaw Ghetto goes on display for the first time in Poland

Jews are seen lining up in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. (Courtesy of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives)
Jews are seen lining up in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. (Courtesy of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives)

Jews are seen lining up in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. (Courtesy of American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Archives)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – Eyewitness accounts of Nazi atrocities found buried in the rubble of the Warsaw Ghetto have gone on display in Poland for the first time.

The exhibition, “What We Could Not Shout Out To The World,” includes more than 35,000 documents compiled and hidden by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and other Jews who lived in the ghetto. [Read more…]

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Polish Independence Day marchers shout ‘Jews out’ and other racist slogans

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – Far-right marchers shouted “Jews out” and other racist slogans at Independence Day events, drawing condemnation from Jewish groups.

At the March of Independence in Warsaw Saturday, participants held signs that read “Seig Heil,” “Remove Jewry from power,” and “White Europe, Europe must be white.” Others wore masks, waved red and white Polish flags and burned flares. [Read more…]

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Polish restitution bill discriminates against Holocaust survivors, Israel says

(JTA) – In an unusual move, Israel accused Poland of “discriminating against Holocaust survivors” in considering legislation on restitution whose language excludes many Jewish would-be recipients.

Israel’s ambassador to Poland, Anna Azari, on Friday lodged an official complaint with the Polish foreign ministry over a bill unveiled last week, which would require those seeking restitution for nationalized property to be citizens living in Poland and exclude all heirs except “first-line heirs,” meaning spouses, children or grandchildren. [Read more…]

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Polish restitution law would exclude most Holocaust survivors and heirs

(JTA) – The Polish government has published draft legislation on the return of confiscated property that would exclude most Holocaust survivors and their families.

The bill, which was announced Friday, would require claimants to be citizens living in Poland and exclude all heirs except “first-line heirs,” meaning spouses, children or grandchildren. Most Jews who survived the Holocaust left Poland and neither they nor their children and grandchildren currently live in Poland. Other survivors or their offspring who may want to claim family property are not first-line heirs. [Read more…]

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