Voices from Poland


kowalskil
+1
#1
A Book, entitled "How Polish People Helped Germans Murder Jews;" was published recently (January 2013) in Poland.

*Jak Polacy Niemcom Żydów mordować pomagali - Stefan Zgliczyński - Literatura faktu - Czarna owca
I hope it will be translated into English. The author, Stefan Zgliczynski, is a journalist associated with the Polish version of Le Monde Diplomatique. His book generated many interesting comments on a Polish website:

„Jak Polacy Niemcom {ydów mordowa pomagali”. Recenzja ksi|ki - Forum - Polityka.pl

The link below will take you to selected observations (translated by me).

*xenophobia

Thay are worth reading and thinking about.

*Ludwik Kowalski (see Wikipedia)

Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality
 
china
#2
  • April 24, 2013, 12:31 PM
Poland’s Jewish Community Awakens
  • EMERGING EUROPE REAL TIME HOME PAGE

By Marynia Kruk


European Pressphoto Agency/Radek PietruszkaA view of an installation made of lights to commemorate the outbreak the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, in front of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, April 19, 2013.

Twenty-four years after the fall of communism and 70 years since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a small but growing community of Poles have discovered they have Jewish roots. And unlike in the past, the number of ways to be Jewish in Poland has multiplied.
A rising number of Polish Jews–whose parents often hid their Jewish roots from them–have multiple institutions to serve them, especially in Warsaw, where there is a Jewish day school for children, beginner Judaism night classes for adults, multiple synagogues, and plenty occasions to socialize.
“Since 1989, thousands and thousands of Poles have discovered their Jewish roots and feel comfortable telling their children about those roots, because the fear has gone away,” says Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland. Being Jewish in Poland has become “a lot less of a liability.”
That’s in sharp contrast to what happened after 1939, when World War II first reduced the Jewish population of Poland to 350,000 survivors from 3.5 million, followed by a hostile environment that prompted “the overwhelming majority to leave.”
For Karolina Szykier-Koszucka, the mother of 4-year-old Lea, moving to a big city proved key.
When she was a teenager, growing up in a mid-sized town in south-western Poland in the early 1990s, she felt compelled to visit Jewish cemeteries and she didn’t know why. She knew her paternal grandfather was Jewish, but at home, they “didn’t talk about it”.
Now her daughter attends kindergarten at the Lauder-Morasha Jewish day school in Warsaw and Ms. Szykier-Koszucka herself works as a coordinator at a reform synagogue in the city.
She received birthday packages of precious western goods–Mars bars, Toblerone, and oranges–from her grandfather, who lived in Israel, and that’s how she worked out she was “25% Jewish”, she says. Poland’s centrally-planned economy was chronically short of all types of consumer goods.
Her thinking: “Jews live in Israel, my grandfather lives in Israel, so my grandfather must be Jewish.” Sorting out what that meant took her two decades, she says.
At times, events “outside herself”, like her husband’s independent decision to convert to Judaism six years after their marriage, swept her along.
While attending university in Wroclaw, she heard a radio show one day in which a leader of Poland’s Jewish student organization was talking about his Jewish grandfather.
“What’s the big deal, I thought? I have a Jewish grandfather too.”
For her and for many other Poles for her generation, whose curiosity was piqued, it did turn out to be a big deal to have a Jewish grandparent.
She attended an open lecture titled “The Sabbath as an Island in Time”. Suddenly, Ms. Szykier-Koszucka found herself being embraced by a small group of older Polish Jews, who grilled her about her family history.
That led to a full-time job at a Jewish philanthropic foundation, where she worked on reclaiming a derelict synagogue, while working towards her degree on the weekends, and eventually the decision to join a conversion group and, finally, to move to Warsaw.
Meanwhile, her mom, with whom she had attended Mass on Sunday until she moved away from home, wasn’t happy that she was getting interested in “Jews and Judaism.”
“Mom’s have their way to show their displeasure; at this point she can’t do anything about it so she just shows a lack of interest,” Ms. Szykier-Koszucka says.
Poland’s Jewish community isn’t yet self-sustaining. Leaders of Warsaw’s various Jewish institutions say their work wouldn’t be possible without financial support from philanthropists like Tad Taube, a real estate investor based in the San Francisco Bay Area, or Ronald Lauder of Estee Lauder EL -2.22%.
There are challenges to being a Jew in a country many would describe as overwhelmingly Catholic, where a cross hangs in the main chamber of parliament and taxpayer money goes to Catholic religion classes in public schools.
“There is still a large group of people with Jewish roots in Poland who want nothing to do with the Jewish community,” says Rabbi Maciej Pawlak, who is the principal of the Lauder-Morasha School.
Not every Pole with a Jewish grandparent is prepared to go as far as Ms. Szykier-Koszucka.
Franciszek Bojanczyk, a freshman at Warsaw University, is double majoring in Hebrew and history. Since discovering some journals of his Jewish great-grandfather when he was in middle school, he’s been “very interested in Jewish culture,” devouring the novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer and watching all the World War II and Holocaust movies he could get his hands on. He’s planning a trip to Israel in 2014.
“If I hadn’t been baptized, I could have gone into Judaism, but the Catholic roots are too strong,” Mr. Bojanczyk says. He’s been invited to join the Polish Jewish Youth Organization, called ZOOM, but decided against it.
“It would have been somehow false,” he says.
The level of anti-Semitism in Poland is still “unacceptable, like in the rest of Europe, while stereotypes [about Polish anti-Semitism] change slowly,” says Rabbi Schudrich.
But Poles are changing their image of themselves, not just as victims of World War II, but sometimes as perpetrators, for instance of a gruesome massacre of Jews by fire in a barn that was previously ascribed to Germans.
“This is very hard,” Rabbi Schudrich says.
Poland’s public debate about its role in the Holocaust is more fraught because it’s fresher, Rabbi Schudrich adds. Because of censorship rules, Poles and Jews “picked up where they left off in 1939,” not a good time for Polish-Jewish relations. The French and Germans started their self-examination in 1945.
For a young Jewish family living in Warsaw, those painful discussions aren’t at the forefront, even if having them has encouraged more Poles to be open about their Jewish heritage.
Ms. Szykier-Koszucka says she and her husband are particularly relieved that because their daughter goes to a Jewish kindergarten they spared her from an onslaught of Christmas preparations and carols that are ubiquitous at Polish public schools.
Ms. Szykier-Koszucka says the most irritating thing about being a Polish Jew is going abroad and getting asked “how can you live in a cemetery?”
“It’s such a simplification,” she said. “It’s not our fault that Hitler decided to do it here for practical reasons.”
Monika Krajewska, one of the founders of the Jewish kindergarten that later grew into the Lauder school, is a part-time art and Jewish culture teacher there.
“People in the U.S. think we just sit around thinking about the Holocaust, while we’re busy living the Jewish and non-Jewish aspects of our lives,” Ms. Krajewska says. This is the disconnect in perception of Poland that the Museum of the History of Polish Jews intends to address.
The museum, whose physical structure has been completed and which is scheduled to open next year, is designed to be a “new page in Polish-Jewish relations,” said Nili Amit, a coordinator at the museum.
The museum was conceived not only to commemorate and explore the Holocaust, but to show how 1,000 years of Polish and Jewish coexistence was destroyed, she added. Before World War II, Jews made up 10% of Poland’s population.
Several bridges within the museum are supposed to evoke the bridging of the gaps that exist between “the past and the present, people across continents, old people and young people, Polish youth, global youth and Jewish youth,” Ms. Amit said.
The city of Warsaw financed the building, while private donors financed the core exhibition. “Jews of the diaspora, Jews of Israel, Poles–each has different sensitivities,” Ms. Amit said, adding that the museum’s creators expect a positive reception, but are prepared for “constructive criticism.”
Ms. Szykier-Koszucka and her husband recently bought a house in Lomianki, a northern suburb of Warsaw, and were waiting for the weather to improve to have a Jewish wedding there. In 2006, they only had a civil ceremony.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with the sad geography underfoot. Auschwitz is just hours away by train and there’s a clearly marked path in Warsaw showing the outline of the ghetto.
“Take Muranow,” she says referring to a neighborhood of Warsaw that was inside the Jewish ghetto, completely demolished by the Nazis and then rebuilt in social-realist style in the 1950s. “I don’t think I’d like to live there, it’s a superstition.”
But many of her friends were born there and still live there, she adds.
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darkbeaver
+2
#3  Top Rated Post
I am ignorant about the religion Poland of course. I've been wondering how does the little hat stay on?
 
china
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

I am ignorant about the religion Poland of course. I've been wondering how does the little hat stay on?

I don't have an answer to your question db but I must say that I have never seen anyone joging and wearing "the little hat".
Perhaps that will assist in your your wondering .
Last edited by china; Apr 25th, 2013 at 04:37 PM..
 
darkbeaver
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by china View Post

I don't have an answer to your question db but I must say that I have never seen anyone joging and wearing "the little hat".
Perhaps that will assist in your your wondering .

Exactly what I was wondering about wind, jogging, bending over. I'll have to goggle. I also have a bald spot that could be hidden buy just such a headpiece.
.
 
china
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by darkbeaver View Post

Exactly what I was wondering about wind, jogging, bending over. I'll have to goggle. I also have a bald spot that could be hidden buy just such a headpiece.
.

You have a bold spot when you bend over .....? Amigo , you dont need a "small hat" , you need a big sombrero ( riba , riba ).
 
darkbeaver
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by china View Post

You have a bold spot when you bend over .....? Amigo , you dont need a "small hat" , you need a big sombrero ( riba , riba ).

This is a serious thread China let's not detract by mentioning my bold spot. My apology to the threads originator. I won't slam the door on the way out.
 
china
#8
Lets be serious db..Perhaps Mr Kowalski will tell us the history and the meaning of the "little hat".

Drogi Panie Kowalski , wasza scena, prosimy .
 
kowalskil
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by china View Post

Lets be serious db..Perhaps Mr Kowalski will tell us the history and the meaning of the "little hat".

Drogi Panie Kowalski , wasza scena, prosimy .

Nie znam historji jarmulki (little hat).

Ludwik Kowalski
http://ludkow.info/byt
 
china
#10
Dziekuje za szypka odpowiedz natemat jarmulki . Znajac teraz poprawna nazwe tej "czapki" spruboje znalezc wiecej informacji w PC .
PS.Wspanialy pamietnjk , pszypominaja sie mlode lata w kraju .
Thanks , China .
Last edited by china; Apr 27th, 2013 at 07:13 AM..
 

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