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Polish Forbes Magazine Apologizes to Jewish Leaders

By: JTA

The Polish edition of Forbes magazine apologized for three articles about the restitution of prewar property of Jewish communities that targeted the leaders of Poland’s organized Jewish community and several Jewish organizations.

The apology for the articles published in September was published Monday on the magazine’s website. The original articles were titled “Who are our leaders?”, “Jewish accusation,” and “Kaddish for a million bucks.”

“In particular we apologize for the publication of information suggesting the following activities: that the individuals named in the articles reaped personal benefit from the activities of Jewish organizations in Poland; that the restituted Jewish cemeteries in Torun, Gliwice and Lublin were sold contrary to the principles of Jewish tradition; and that there was no settling of accounts of the funds allocated for preservation of Jewish heritage,” the editorial staff of Forbes and its publisher, Ringier Axel Springer, said in the statement.

Forbes also published corrections to the article “Kaddish for a million bucks,” written by Wojciech Surmacz and Nissan Tzur.

“It is not true that real estate representing part of the assets recovered by the Association of Jewish Communities in the Republic of Poland or the Jewish Community of Warsaw was sold below market value,” the correction said.

It also stated, “It is not true that cemeteries in Torun, Lublin and Gliwice were sold by the Association of Jewish Communities in the Republic of Poland. Jewish Communities do not liquidate any parts of restituted Jewish property which according to Jewish law or custom require special care or protection.”

In October, Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, published a statement in which he disputed allegations of mismanagement of property from prewar Jewish communities.

Forbes decided to publish an apology and corrections to avoid a threatened lawsuit by the Jewish community.

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One Response to “Polish Forbes Magazine Apologizes to Jewish Leaders”

  1. Haim Dov Beliak says:

    Response to Forbes' Undermining of Its Credibility and Its Veteran Writers — Journalistic Suicide

    We think it is important to say that if there were mistakes in the September article, Forbes reporters should respond. The reporters should be allowed to answer their critics. We ask: are these reporters being silenced?

    But if Forbes was pressured by the powerful lobby of people seeking to disallow a full and transparent accounting for $350 million of pre-World War II Jewish communal property then the notion of a free press has been dealt a tremendous blow.

    Forbes has undermined its credibility and disappointed the hopes of millions of Poles and Jews who were seeking a full accounting. How much money has to go missing before some one asks where is the money? How many survivors in Poland, North American and Israel have to die in poverty before this is a burning question?

    Any niggling mistakes by reporters that are the result of the attempt of moneyed parties to hide the truth from reporters and the public are inevitable. When millions are on the table there is a great incentive to mobilize for deception. Mr. Kadlicik, Rabbi Schudrich and their organization could have produced an audited account for the money by this time.

    By offering a blanket absolution it appears that Forbes — the once mighty publishing empire — has capitulated. A sad day.

    We still don't have an accounting for the millions. Where is the money?

    We call upon the rest of the press to not bow to blandishments and fear.

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