Poland honours satirist who said Jews create anti-Semitism

(JTA) – A Polish satirist who in 2016 made anti-Semitic jokes on television and later accused Jews of fomenting hatred against themselves was awarded his country’s highest distinction for artists.

Ryszard Makowski, 62, was awarded the Gloria Artis Medal for Merit to Culture on Thursday along with 20 others by Culture Minister Piotr Gliński in Warsaw, the wPolityce news website reported. Makowski won the bronze medal, the lowest of three categories in the distinction awarded annually to artists by the ministry. [Read more…]

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Anti-Semitism has resurfaced due to Polish Holocaust law, Catholic leader says

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The former Roman Catholic primate of Poland believes that because of the country’s recently passed Holocaust law and discussions around it, anti-Semitism in Poland has become a contemporary and current problem again.

“Old demons began to wake up: the trust of many thousands of people has been strained and the work of many decades has been tarnished,” Archbishop Henryk Muszynski, archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Gniezno, told the Polish-language Catholic Guide magazine. [Read more…]

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Yad Vashem’s top historian says ‘we can live with’ joint Israel-Poland Holocaust declaration

(JTA) – Yad Vashem’s chief historian said Tuesday that “we can live with” much of the joint Holocaust declaration by Israel and Poland that has come in for criticism, including from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Dina Porat in an interview with Israel’s Kan national broadcaster said the declaration should be changed but not cancelled. [Read more…]

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Israeli cabinet minister condemns joint statement on Poland’s wartime record

Naftali Bennett speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Nov. 18, 2015. (Miriam Alster /Flash90)
Naftali Bennett speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Nov. 18, 2015. (Miriam Alster /Flash90)

Naftali Bennett speaking at a conference in Jerusalem, Nov. 18, 2015. (Miriam Alster /Flash90)

(JTA) – Israel’s education minister joined those criticizing Prime Minister Benajmin Netanyahu for signing a joint statement with his Polish counterpart meant to end the diplomatic spat over a Polish law that criminalized blaming Poland for Nazi crimes.

“As education minister, responsible for the educational legacy of the Holocaust, I reject the joint statement completely,” Naftali Bennett said in a statement Friday. “The declaration is void of any historical value, and nothing that it represents will be taught in our school system. I demand that the prime minister either withdraw his name from it, or bring it to the government for approval.” [Read more…]

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Yad Vashem says joint Israel-Poland Holocaust declaration has ‘grave errors and deceptions’

(JTA) – Israel’s main state museum and research body on the Holocaust said Thursday that a joint statement by Israel and Poland on the genocide contained “grave errors and deceptions.”

The Yad Vashem statement pertains to a declaration made last week by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, that acknowledges collaboration by some Poles during the Holocaust and the rescue of Jews by others. It also states that during the Holocaust, “unfortunately, the sad fact is that some people – regardless of their origin, religion or worldview – revealed their darkest side.” [Read more…]

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Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer slams Israel’s detente with Poland

(JTA) – A prominent researcher of the Holocaust said that Israel committed a “betrayal” when it ended its diplomatic row with Poland over the legal status there of some rhetoric on the genocide.

Prof. Yehuda Bauer, academic adviser to the Yad Vashem state museum on the Holocaust in Jerusalem, said this during a radio interview aired Saturday about Israel’s reaction to the passing of an amendment on June 27 in Poland. It removed criminal penalties from a law passed in January that criminalized blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes. [Read more…]

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Hasidim flock to Polish schoolyard where they say a cemetery used to stand

(JTA) – A schoolyard in Poland that was built on what is believed to be the grave of a prominent 19th-century rabbi has become the site of an unofficial pilgrimage, the Israel Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Followers of the Modzitz Hasidic dynasty, which is based in Israel, discovered in 2013 that the movement’s founder, Rabbi Yehezkel of Kuzhmir, was buried in what is now a public school in Kazimierz Dolny in eastern Poland, according to the report Sunday. [Read more…]

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Study says Polish neighbours betrayed many more Jews than previously thought

Jews from the Warsaw ghetto surrender to German soldiers after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of April-May 1943. On the right is SS Josef Blösche (1912 - 1969). (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Jews from the Warsaw ghetto surrender to German soldiers after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of April-May 1943. On the right is SS Josef Blösche (1912 - 1969).   (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Jews from the Warsaw ghetto surrender to German soldiers after the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of April-May 1943. (Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

(JTA) – According to new research done in Poland, two-thirds of the local Jews who hid there from the Nazis did not survive the war, mostly because of the actions of their non-Jewish neighbours.

The figure comes from a two-volume work of 1,600 pages that historians from the Warsaw-based Center for Research on Holocaust of Jews have compiled over the past five years. It covers nine out of Poland’s 13 regions, the Tok FM radio station reported Sunday. [Read more…]

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Polish TV host mocks Jewish critics of new law by suggesting use of term ‘Jewish death camps’

A visitor arriving for a memorial service of the victims of the former concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Auschwitz, Poland, May 28, 2006. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A visitor arriving for a memorial service of the victims of the former concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Auschwitz, Poland, May 28, 2006. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A visitor arriving for a memorial service of the victims of the former concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Auschwitz, Poland, May 28, 2006. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The debate over a Polish law that would criminalize the use of the term “Polish death camps” in referring to Auschwitz and other sites took a nasty turn when a television host joked that they should be called “Jewish camps.”

The comment comes amid tensions between Poland and Israel over the legislation, which is meant to assign sole responsibility for atrocities on Polish soil to the German Nazis who occupied the country. [Read more…]

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Presidents of Poland and Israel to participate together in March of the Living

A group of students from Ottawa enters Birkenau on Yom HaShoah during the 2015 March of the Living.

A group of students from Ottawa enters Birkenau on Yom HaShoah during the 2015 March of the Living.

(JTA) – The presidents of Israel and Poland will take part in the March of the Living in the former Auschwitz death camp.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Polish President Andrzej Duda agreed to jointly participate in the April 12 ceremony during a telephone conversation last month, the head of the Cabinet of the Polish president, Krzysztof Szczerski, announced Monday. [Read more…]

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