web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Jewish Polish Relations In France

      While Polish-Jewish relations have grown more and more friendly in Poland, Israel and the U.S., Poland has also been reaching out to Jews around the world. Recently the Polish Ambassador to France was interviewed by European Jewish News. In order to give you the complete picture of Polish-Jewish relations I present the following interview:

 

Interview With Jan Tombinski,


Polish Ambassador To France


 


By SHIRLI SITBON,


(European Jewish Press)


 


         PARIS – The Polish government’s efforts at improving its relationship with the Jewish community are beginning to bear fruit.

 

         In Paris last month the Polish Embassy organized the first ever Polish-Jewish festival to be held in the city. The event included concerts, debates and expositions, organized with the help of the institutions that promote Polish culture abroad.

 

         Jan Tombinski, Ambassador of Poland to France, spoke to EJP about the relevance of the festival and the importance of highlighting Jewish history in Poland.

 

         European Jewish Press: As the Polish Ambassador to France how important was it for you to participate in the launch of Paris’s Jewish festival?

 

         Jan Tombinski: I feel it is more than important. For the past year we have been doing our best to promote Polish-Jewish culture. We want the public to understand it better, and for that reason we have been helping out in several festivals and cultural events.

 

         Because pre-war Poland drew together so many different populations and cultures there is a kind of a mix between the Polish-Jewish culture and regular Jewish culture.

 

         But although Polish-Jewish heritage is immense, it is still unknown to the majority of the public, so the Polish people feel a sort of vacuum.

 

         The first attempt to create the Jewish culture festival a year ago didn’t pull through and we only organized a few concerts and debates. A few months ago we gave our contribution to a Jewish festival in Toulouse, an event that drew thousands of spectators and visitors. Our goal, since then, was to create the Jewish Festival of Paris, with a special honor given to Yiddish culture.

 

         EJP: The Polish authorities seem to have recently opened up to the Jewish heritage. How has this happened and why?

 

         J.T.: Such an open interest requires liberty, so it was impossible before 1989. Once we gained our freedom from Communism we started promoting different cultures.

 

         For the Jewish culture we first used the few institutions that were already there: The Jewish Cultural Institute, Jewish Historical Institute, Jewish theatre, Yiddish newspapers and books.

 

         Today, things are different in Poland. Jewish culture is not simply a Jewish-community interest anymore. Very few Jews live today in Poland compared to the 3.5 million who lived there before the war but non-Jewish associations are promoting Jewish culture because they feel it is essential to cherish that Polish heritage.

 

         EJP: What kind of efforts are the Polish authorities playing in that battle against anti-Semitism, an intolerance that is becoming a major problem in Europe?

 

         J.T.: I think Poland indeed has a role to play. For a long period in the past anti-Semitism was used to divide us and to weaken us. In Poland there is now mutual recognition. People just want to stop history from repeating itself. They don’t want to confront each other and they want to avoid seeing the hate movements we have known in the past.

 

         The Polish institutions and media are watching out for anti-Semitic attitudes. They want to avoid them. But clichés have to be fought first. We always read in newspapers that “the Polish are anti-Semites” and clichés such as this are useless.

 

         EJP: Do you think that promoting the Jewish culture can help fight against anti-Semitism?

 

         J.T.: We all feel familiar with this heritage, because it’s part of our country’s heritage. We grew up with elements of the Jewish culture around us. The rabbi image for example is deeply implanted in our roots. You cannot dissociate the Jewish culture from the rest of the Polish heritage.

 

         The division came afterwards, with intolerance. Prior to that, although not always, we have lived for centuries together in tolerance. Poland was the first European country to issue a legal act for tolerance, in 1572.

 

         EJP: Do the Poles consider today’s Polish Jews as any other Polish citizen? Opinion polls show that intolerance is still there.

 

         J. T.: Polish Jews are considered as Polish citizens. But, in all of our European societies, we are confronting a number of anti-Semitic acts – tags, insults.


In France, those anti-Semitic attacks are sometimes very violent, much more than in Poland. But even in France, anti-Semitic violence doesn’t mean that the Jews are excluded from society.

 

         We shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Those actions are isolated and engage only the people who perpetrate them. We have to fight against that behavior, but we mustn’t generalize it to the whole of society.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Jewish Polish Relations In France”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli Air Force  planes reportedly bombed Hezbollah targets deep inside Syria.
Israeli Air Force Reportedly Bombed Missiles Site Deep inside Syria
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

South-Florida-logo

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

South-Florida-logo

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Lauder receiving a special album from Rabbi Maciej Pawlak, director of the Lauder-Morasha school in Warsaw.

In 1989 he hosted a dinner for 157 young Jews with the late Rabbi Chaskel Besser and the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation in Poland was born.

Part of the reconstructed Gwozdziec Synagogue.

The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews is designed to tell the whole thousand-year story of the Jews in Poland.

I REMEMBER WHEN I first started working at the Jewish Press 18 years ago, Arnie who was in charge of the newsroom, took me under his wing…

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

The official beginning of World War II was September 1, 1939. On that day German soldiers invaded Gdansk after bombarding the city with a military warship. As part of the Polish Government’s official series of events marking seven decades since the start of World War II, Poland’s Jewish community and the Jerusalem-based “Shavei Israel” organization held a special ceremony yesterday in the Gdansk synagogue to commemorate the outbreak of the war, which paved the way for the Holocaust.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

September 1, 1939 is the date on which Germany invaded Poland, starting WWII. While it should be said that the start of the war was not the start of the Shoah, which actually began with the rise of Nazism in 1933, it was a major milestone in the annals of the Holocaust. Within the first few days of the war, Germany had conquered and/or bombed much of Poland, including the capital, Warsaw.

In September 1939 the Germans started establishing ghettos in the occupied territory of Poland. Ghettos played an important role in the Jewish extermination policy. They were filled with Polish and Western European Jewish deportees. The ghettos differed in times of existence, size, internal organization, and living conditions. The Germans called them ” death boxes” (Todeskiste). The city of Lodz belonged to the Wartheland District and the Germans changed its name into Litzmannstadt.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/jewish-polish-relations-in-france/2007/05/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: