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Purim In Warsaw

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         Purim is major event throughout Poland. Many marginal Jews bring their whole families to the synagogue for the festive reading of the Megillah. For the established religious community it is an opportunity for outreach.

 

         In Warsaw everybody gets into the act from Rabbi Michael Schudrich to the youngsters.

 

 

 


 


         Before any religious event Rabbi Schudrich, Chief Rabbi Of Poland, explains to those present the significance of the event, the proper practice, as well as any possible link to Polish Jewish history. In the case of Purim there is a parallel between Haman y”s and Hitler y”s.

 

 

 

         In a playful Purim atmosphere Rabbi Schudrich was carried into shul before the reading of Megillat Esther.

  

 


 


        While reading the Megillah was done in full costume it was still read with reverence.

 

  

 


Enough said!”


 


  


(All photographs courtesy of Adam Tuchlinski.)

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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.

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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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