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September 24, 2014 / 29 Elul, 5774
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Po-Lin

Purim in Tarnow

 

     On March 9, 2009, the first Purim celebrations in many years took place in Tarnow. The program included the reading of Megillat Esther and tasting traditional Jewish dishes. The event was organized by The Michael H. Traison Fund for Poland; the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland; Chabad-Lubavitch Warsaw; Adam Bartosz and the Committee of Protection of Jewish Monuments in Tarnow; and the Galicia Jewish Museum of Krakow.

 



Rabbi Stambler, the Chabad Shaliach, Reading the Megillah in Tarnow.


 

 


Co-operation In Siedlce


 


     A few weeks ago a group of Israelis and Polish students got together to explore the Jewish heritage of Siedlce. Despite the weather (heavy wind and snow) the visit to Siedlce was a success. Polish kids came in numbers and the little Jewish girls won their hearts immediately. Working together they managed to decipher some names on the matzevot and gathered few bags of trash as well.

 

 



Jews and Poles working together in the Siedlce Cemetery.


 

 

     The headmaster of the high school saved the day by bringing loads of hot tea and distributing it among the students. Rabbi Zarczynski created a nice atmosphere and the vice-president of Siedlce delivered a speech and placed flowers on a mass grave of local Jews murdered during the Holocaust. All in all, both Polish and Jewish kids will surely remember that day.

 

 


Two Israeli students at the new sign in the Jewish cemetery of Siedlce.

 

 

    A memorial tablet commemorating the Jewish community of Siedlce, financed by the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland and the Jewish Community of Warsaw, was unveiled on the cemetery wall. A road marker in the shape of a Star of David – funded by Michael Traison Fund for Poland – was placed on an access road to the cemetery.

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More Articles from Shmuel Ben Eliezer
Arnold Fine 2008

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.

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.

Growing up in the U.S. during the second half of the 20th century, I, along with most people, know very little about the First World War. The little that I did know was about the trench warfare in France and Belgium. The Eastern Front was barely, if ever, mentioned and usually stated that it ended with the Russian Revolution and overthrowing the Czar.

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