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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Israel and Poland to open ‘immediate dialogue’ over Polish death camps legislation

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Dec. 14, 2017. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Dec. 14, 2017. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Dec. 14, 2017. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel and Poland will open an “immediate dialogue” over legislation that would criminalize the use of the term “Polish death camps.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, spoke on Sunday evening by phone and “agreed that teams from the two countries would open an immediate dialogue in order to try to reach understandings regarding the legislation,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement. [Read more…]

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Polish Jews split on bill to outlaw ‘Polish death camp’ term

(JTA) – Leaders of Polish Jewry offered diverging reactions to the controversial bill passed Friday in the country’s parliament, which aims to criminalize the term “Polish death camps” and claims of complicity by Poland in Nazi crimes.

Artur Hoffman, the president of the TSKZ cultural organizations of Polish Jews said he strongly supported the bill whereas Rabbi Eliezer Gur-Ari of the Chabad movement in Poland said he opposed it, the Israeli daily Makor Rishon reported Sunday. [Read more…]

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Poland’s parliament pushes forward bill that would criminalize the term ‘Polish death camps’

The main gate of the former Auschwitz extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

The main gate of the former Auschwitz extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu protested a bill passed by the lower house of the Polish parliament which would make it illegal to use terms such as “Polish death camps” to refer to the camps set up by the Nazis.

“The law is baseless; I strongly oppose it,” Netanyahu said in a statement Saturday. “One cannot change history and the Holocaust cannot be denied. I have instructed the Israeli ambassador to Poland to meet with the Polish prime minister this evening and express to him my strong position against the law.” [Read more…]

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Polish neo-Nazis thrive as authorities fail to act, Jewish community leader says

Thousands of people marching at Poland´s annual Independency Day march in Warsaw. (Lorena de la Cuesta/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Thousands of people marching at Poland´s annual Independency Day march in Warsaw. (Lorena de la Cuesta/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Thousands of people marching at Poland´s annual Independency Day march in Warsaw. (Lorena de la Cuesta/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

(JTA) – Following a television report about neo-Nazis in Poland, the leader of the country’s federation of Jewish communities said that extremists are thriving due to inaction by the government.

A TVN report over the weekend featured young men filmed displaying swastikas and speaking positively about Adolf Hitler. The report showed about 10 individuals from the Pride and Modernity group who celebrated Hitler’s birthday on April 20 at a private residence with a cake featuring a swastika glaze. They also burned a swastika made of wood. [Read more…]

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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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