Yad Vashem questions honours for three Poles as Holocaust-era rescuers of Jews

(JTA) – Israel’s state Holocaust museum expressed concerns over a Polish group honouring three people it did not recognize as having risked their lives to save Jews.

Joel Zisenwine, the director of the Yad Vashem museum’s Righteous Among the Nations department, said there is “fear that these actions may lead to misleading the public” in an email he sent this month to Holocaust commemoration activist Meir Bulka in Israel, who runs the JNerations group. [Read more…]

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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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