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Polish Center For Holocaust Research (Conclusion)

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         In order to emphasize the magnitude of the Holocaust and genocide, Director of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology: Polish Academy of Sciences, Professor Henryk Domanski, created the Polish Center for Holocaust Research, on July 2 2003.

 

         The major goal of the Center is to create an interdisciplinary (history, sociology, psychology, anthropology, literature and art) environment for researchers working on the Holocaust. The Center focuses on conducting scientific research; editing books; organizing seminars and conferences; cooperating with other institutions working in the same area; and receiving exchange scholars.

 

          Higher educational activities include forums and lectures at the university level and working together with educational institutions interested in Holocaust education in Poland and abroad. It seems that joint effort of people using different approaches will bring interesting results in this complex research area.


 

 

Polish Jewish Students’ Union

 

         In 1992, the Polish Jewish Students’ and Youth Union was founded. The group wanted to meet the needs of Jewish youths who had been raised in assimilated families, often unaware of their background, who wanted to become acquainted with their own history and culture. In 1995, the organization was officially registered under its current name, the Polish Jewish Students’ Union (known by its Polish abbreviation: PUSZ). It unites not only students, but also all people of Jewish heritage from 16 to 35 years of age.

 

         Members may also have the status of “friend,” which is meant for people who are not Jewish, but nevertheless interested in PUSZ’s activities. PUSZ is a non-religious, apolitical organization that cooperates with all Jewish organizations in Poland. It is also a member of the European and World Unions of Jewish Students. PUSZ has branch offices in Warsaw, Krakow, Lodz, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Katowice, Bielsko-Biala, Poznan and Czestochowa.


 

Polish Jews Forum

 

         The Polish Jews Forum is the first Polish-Jewish online bulletin. The aim is to provide people of different views and religions with information about the culture and customs of the Jewish Diaspora in Poland, a group whose presence there reaches back to Poland’s very earliest days of statehood. Fillippo Buonaccorsi (1437-1496) (also known as Kallimach), the Italian humanist active in Poland, called this Diaspora the very pillar of Kazimierz Jagiellon’s rule.

 

         This Internet magazine’s aim is to contribute to the re-establishment of a Jewish presence in Polish culture, which was forcibly removed by the tragedy of the Holocaust. The forum helps readers better understand the traditions of the Chosen People, assisting some of them also to find their own Jewish roots of which they can be proud.


 

Professor Moses Schorr Foundation


 


         The Foundation was created to promote and implement the educational goals of Professor Moses Schorr (1873-1941), a renowned rabbi, historian, teacher, activist and senator. The foundation creates and develops an education program that fosters understanding of Judaism, Jewish history and the tradition of Polish Jews. The program is implemented through the Education Center run by our Foundation and supported financially by the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation. The foundation is open to everyone.


 


         The programs are directed not only at Jews, but also at anyone interested in Jewish culture, because understanding the Jewish tradition fosters tolerance and respect. Program participants with a Jewish background reinforce their identity through learning about their heritage. We offer in-class programs as well as distance learning, which allows us to serve the inhabitants of Warsaw and those from all over Poland.


 

Tslil - Jewish Choir


 


         Tslil Jewish Choir was founded in Lodz in March 2003. One month later its Warsaw branch also began rehearsals. Today there are about 30 members that perform independently and in cultural and artistic events. Though their ages and backgrounds vary, they unite in the pleasure of singing together and bringing Jewish musical heritage to life. The choir believes that its performances break barriers between cultures. The repertoire includes songs and refrains in Hebrew, Yiddish and Ladino (the latter two are the languages of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewry, respectively).


 

Union Of Jewish Religious Communities In Poland

 

         The Union was registered in 1993 as successor to the Religious Jewish Confessional Union, founded in 1946. Its legal status is regulated by the state’s relationship to the Jewish religious communities in Poland, passed in 1997, and on internal law. It represents Polish Jews in the restitution of prewar property belonging to the Jewish Communities and other religious legal entities.

 

         The aim of the union’s activities is to organize religious and cultural life for its members in Poland. In particular, the union organizes public worship and the cultivation of religious life, founds and maintains synagogues, religious rites, eating establishments, cemeteries and ritual baths.

 

         It also arranges for ritual slaughter and oversees the preparation and distribution of kosher food. The union also maintains religious institutions, such as the Chevrah Kadisha (“the holy society” – the burial society). The union conducts broad social welfare services and publishes magazines and books. 

 

         It partners with a variety of institutions, including state-run ones, in protecting Jewish heritage in Poland and in the promotion of historical monuments that are also part of Poland’s national heritage. The Union runs Jewish schools, organizes classes, seminars, courses, conferences and training sessions.


 

Viridarium

 

         Viridarium – Polish Students Group against anti-Semitism and xenophobia. Formed in 2001 it operates alongside the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Poland and The Open Republic – Association Against Anti-Semitism And Xenophobia.


The Group works to make the public aware of the crucial problems of contemporary multicultural society.

 

         Consequently, lectures and meetings with distinguished Polish publicists, journalists and scholars are organized to familiarize the public with the issues of human rights and the relations between nations, cultures and religions, coexisting in Poland and throughout Europe.

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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.

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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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