A Manhattan street corner has been named after a Polish World War II hero who brought early eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust to the West. Madison Avenue at 37th Street was designated Jan Karski Corner. A statue of him stands there, in front of the Polish Consulate.
During the war, Karski was a clandestine Polish Government diplomat – in exile – in London.
On a secret mission to Nazi-occupied Poland, the Roman Catholic Karski met with leaders of the Jewish underground. They told him about what they called Hitler’s war against the Polish Jews.
Jan Karski (seated) being honored at the Polish consulate in NY
with Rabbi Chaskel Besser in 1996.
Yad Vashem recognized Karski in 1982 as Righteous Among the Nations. He was made an honorary citizen of Israel in 1994.
At the time of his death, nine years ago in Washington, Karski was a history professor at Georgetown University. President Clinton had been one of his students.
Friends Of The Shalom Foundation Launched In N.Y.
On Sunday, April 26, 2009, the Friends of the Shalom Foundation of Warsaw will present Jewish Life & Culture of Poland Musical Soiree, a special event celebrating the vitality and cultural vibrancy of Polish Jewish heritage. Hosted by board members Chairman Sigmund Rolat, President Lydia Sarfati, Lea Wolinetz, Rivka Ostaszewski, and Paul Dykstra, the event marks the launch of the Friends of the Shalom Foundation in the U.S. Featuring Golda Tencer, Originator and General Director of the Shalom Foundation Poland, Cantor Joseph Malovany of the Fifth Avenue Synagogue and the Ariyon Ensemble of Chicago.
The event will serve as a celebration of the culture and arts that flourish in Poland commencing a weeklong of events in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day (April 21, 2009). The Foundation is hoping to encourage membership and support. The Shalom Foundation of Poland was established in 1988 at the initiative of Golda Tencer, an actress and director of the Ester Rachel & Ida Kaminska Yiddish Theater in Warsaw.
Amongst the Foundation’s achievements are:
1.The creation of the exhibition “And I Still See their Faces,” shown in over 29 museums throughout the world.
2.The establishment of the, “I.B. Singer Warsaw, Jewish Cultural Festival,” an annually scheduled event that draws together outstanding artists and interpreters of Jewish Culture.
3. Publications, including:
A. We, Polish Jews, by Julian Tuwim
B. The anthology, Children of the Holocaust.
C. Accuse, a volume of poetry.
D. Nothing’s a Gift by Wislawa Szymborska
F. The History of the Jews Before, During and After the Holocaust, edited by Feliks Tych.
4. A Center for Yiddish Culture with classes and workshops in Yiddish on various levels, international summer Yiddish language and culture seminars in association with the Israeli organization The National Authority for Yiddish Culture.
5. Concerts, documentaries, television and stage productions.
The official launch of Friends of the Shalom Foundation will take place at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York under the Honorary Patronage of Honorable Krzysztof W. Kasprzyk.
The public is invited to the launching of the Friends of the Shalom Foundation to take place on April 26 at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York 233 Madison Ave New York, NY 10016. Time: 5- 7:30 p.m. RSVP required. E-mail: FriendsOfShalomRSVP@gmail.com or call 201-549-4200 x248.
Shmuel Ben Eliezer