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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Poland honours historian who said the Nazi invasion wasn’t so bad for the Jews

Tomasz Panfil, standing at rear, left, was among the educators receiving honorary medals from the Polish Minister of National Education at a ceremony in Warsaw, Oct. 16, 2017. (Institute of National Remembrance)
Tomasz Panfil, standing at rear, left, was among the educators receiving honorary medals from the Polish Minister of National Education at a ceremony in Warsaw, Oct. 16, 2017. (Institute of National Remembrance)

Tomasz Panfil, standing at rear, left, was among the educators receiving honorary medals from the Polish Minister of National Education at a ceremony in Warsaw, Oct. 16, 2017. (Institute of National Remembrance)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – A Polish historian who said the country’s Nazi invasion was initially not so bad for Jews received a medal from the Polish education minister “for special merits for education.”

The minister, Anna Zalewska, presented Tomasz Panfil with the honour at a ceremony Oct. 16 in Warsaw. [Read more…]

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Poland to partially compensate for property looted under Nazis and communists, official says

(JTA) – The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) cautiously welcomed a Polish official’s announcement of plans to offer partial compensation for property confiscated from private owners under communism.

Countless properties that belonged to Poland’s 3.3 million-strong Jewish population before the Holocaust were seized by the Nazi occupation forces and then nationalized under communism. [Read more…]

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Polish institute rebuffs historian who said Nazi invasion was not so bad for Jews

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The Polish Institute of National Remembrance has distanced itself from one of its historians who wrote in an op-ed that the situation of the Jews “did not look very bad” after the Nazis entered Poland.

The piece by Tomasz Panfil, the historian responsible for education at the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, or IPN, appeared Monday in the Gazeta Polska, a weekly newspaper. [Read more…]

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Poland’s right-wing party leader calls Israel a ‘modern-day miracle’

Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the “From The Depths Zabinski Awards” in Warsaw, Sept. 18, 2017. (Courtesy of From the Depths)
Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the “From The Depths Zabinski Awards” in Warsaw, Sept. 18, 2017. (Courtesy of From the Depths)

Jaroslaw Kaczynski at the “From The Depths Zabinski Awards” in Warsaw, Sept. 18, 2017. (Courtesy of From the Depths)

(JTA) – The person widely regarded as the most powerful politician in Poland called Israel a “great country” whose establishment is a “modern-day miracle.”

In a speech Monday, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a founder of Poland’s nationalist Law and Justice Party, also condemned anti-Semitism and attempts to boycott the Jewish state. [Read more…]

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Pole who burned haredi effigy says he’ll sue Jewish leaders for calling him an anti-Semite

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – A Polish man sentenced to prison for burning an effigy of a haredi Orthodox Jew said he will sue the leaders of the Wroclaw Jewish community for publicly naming him an anti-Semite.

Piotr Rybak burned the effigy during a 2015 demonstration in Wroclaw against accepting refugees in Poland. An appeals court reduced his prison sentence to three months after a Wroclaw court had sentenced him to 10 months. He later explained that it was meant to represent George Soros, the Hungarian-Jewish billionaire and philanthropist who has advocated for a common European asylum policy. [Read more…]

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