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News From Poland

    In recent years The Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland has been active in preservation work throughout Poland. They work with local and international groups, as well as individuals, in reclaiming and maintaining Jewish communal property in places where there is no Jewish community. Their website, http://fodz.pl/?d=1&l=en is full of useful information as well as links to other important sites.


Leczna

 

    Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland recently established cooperation with the “Rainbow” Association of Homeless and Unemployed People in Leczna. In spring 2009 the members of the association will continue working on cleaning and clearing the grounds of the local Jewish cemetery.


Lowicz


     During the preservation works at the road-building site in Lowicz a number of matzevot were found. Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland took immediate steps to preserve the historical tombstones, which probably were taken from the local Jewish cemetery during the war.

 


Siedlce


     On February 6, 2009, a memorial tablet was placed on the gate of the Jewish cemetery in Siedlce. Its ceremonial unveiling is scheduled for March 2009. The tablet, which commemorates the local Jewish community, was funded by both the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland and the Jewish Religious Community in Warsaw.

 


Kolno


  Renovation work is underway in 19-year-old synagogue in Kolno. In the future the synagogue building will host a tourist center, which will serve visitors coming to this part of Poland, including numerous Jewish groups from all over the world. Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland is one of the partners of this project.


Lelow


     On February 1, 2009, the annual Chassidic pilgrimage to the grave of Tzaddik David Biederman took place in Lelow (Slaskie Province). Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland was cooperating with the organizers of this event.  

 

 


Holocaust Scholar Jan Blonski Dies


     Scholar Jan Blonski, whose writings were important catalysts in Poland’s exploration of its role during the Holocaust, has died. Blonski died last week, according to an announcement from the Judaica Foundation-Center for Jewish Culture in Krakow. Blonski, 77, who was not Jewish, was a founder of the foundation and had served as its board chairman. He was a professor at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University. In 1987, his essay “Poor Poles Look at the Ghetto” ignited a heated debate in Poland on Polish moral responsibility in the face of the Holocaust.


     Blonski’s death came on the heels of another loss to the Holocaust scholar community in Poland as, Maria Orwid, a Holocaust survivor and psychiatry professor at Jagiellonian University also passed away last week. Her writings on the Shoah and the impact of trauma were influential. Orwid was a founder of the Children of the Holocaust project. She was 78.

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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/news-from-poland-2/2009/02/25/

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