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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Poland Jewish’

Third Generation Breaks the Silence of Holocaust Survivor

Monday, April 8th, 2013

In 2004, I joined the Witnesses in Uniform delegation of 180 IDF officers to Poland. We had the chance to visit some of the major sites of Holocaust memory, including Auschwitz-Birkenau. We also saw the Lodz ghetto – the place where my father was imprisoned during the war.

Every participant on the trip had to spend some time preparing beforehand. I thought that this might be an opportunity to sit down with my father and have him share his experiences with me. He had never spoken about it with me before.

I took him through the entire itinerary of our trip, and I pointed out that we would be passing through the Lodz ghetto. I hoped that he would open up and talk about it. But he didn’t say a word. My father wished me a successful journey, but nothing more than that.

When we got to Lodz, our guides took us to what remains of the ghetto. I tried to imagine my father walking down the street, but I had no information about his time there. I did, however, experience the unique feeling all IDF officers feel when they land in Poland. It’s something I simply couldn’t compare to anything else I’ve done in my life. Our presence there alone was proof that the Nazis failed in their mission to destroy the Jewish people.

The delegation was made up of all types of people – officers young and old, Jewish, Bedouin and Druze. That’s something that makes the IDF a unique military force – we invest not only in protecting the country but also in educating our officers and passing on our heritage and our values from generation to generation.

When I returned from the trip, I sat down again with my father. I showed him all of my pictures, and hoped that he would start talking, but to no avail.

I thought I’d never learn what happened to him, but this year something changed. My daughter was doing a roots project for school, and as part of the coursework she sat down with my father and asked him to tell her his story. For the first time ever, we learned that before the war, he lived in a Polish village called Stieglitz. The Nazis killed all of the Jews who lived there, but he managed to survive.

It’s not unusual for Holocaust survivors to avoid speaking about their experiences. But perhaps it was easier for him to talk to my daughter than it was for him to talk to me. He needed some kind of trigger, and grandchildren are often that trigger.

It was finally time for him to pass on his legacy to the next generation.

This article was written by Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, the head of the International Media & Communications Branch of the Israel Defense Forces Spokespersons Unit.

Commemorating The Start Of World War II

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

 

    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.

 

     Well-known Jewish dignitaries who participated in the ceremony included President of Poland’s Jewish communities, Piotr Kadlcik; President of the Gdansk Jewish community, Michal Samet; and “Shavei Israel,” Chairman Michael Freund. In addition to the aforementioned, senior Polish and foreign government officials were also present.  

 

     The initiative behind the ceremony came from “Shavei Israel” Chairman Michael Freund, who has played a key role in strengthening Polish Jewry by dispatching young rabbis to serve in Warsaw, Krakow and Wroclaw and sponsoring seminars and educational trips to Israel for young Polish Jews.

 

 

Synagogue in Gdansk (Danzig) Poland, one of the first cities to fall to Germany, in WW II

 

 

   Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, recited a memorial prayer for the six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, and recalled the Jewish soldiers who served in the Polish Armed Forces and died while fighting the Nazi invaders. A number of young Jews from across Poland, many who have just discovered their Jewish roots, took part, which highlighted the ongoing revival of Polish Jewry. Therefore, the slogan, “70 years later we are still here,” was the banner under which the ceremony took place.     

 

     In his remarks at the ceremony, Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund said: “It is incumbent upon us to mark this sad day, to ponder its consequences and to internalize its lessons. But we cannot and must not lose hope – a Jew is not allowed to despair. The participation of young Polish Jews in this ceremony, many of whom have only recently returned to their Jewish roots, is compelling proof that the Nazis and their collaborators ultimately failed. Seven decades after the Holocaust, the Jewish spark is once again coming to life here in Poland.”

 

 

Rabbi Michael Schudrich speaking at the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

 

 

    “Israel and world Jewry must rise to the challenge and facilitate this process of reconnecting young Poles with their Jewish roots. Shavei Israel is proud to be partnering with Poland’s Jewish community and helping to foster this historic rebirth. Seventy years later, Polish Jewry is still here,” said Freund.

Commemorating The Start Of World War II

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

 


    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.

 

     Well-known Jewish dignitaries who participated in the ceremony included President of Poland’s Jewish communities, Piotr Kadlcik; President of the Gdansk Jewish community, Michal Samet; and “Shavei Israel,” Chairman Michael Freund. In addition to the aforementioned, senior Polish and foreign government officials were also present.  

 

     The initiative behind the ceremony came from “Shavei Israel” Chairman Michael Freund, who has played a key role in strengthening Polish Jewry by dispatching young rabbis to serve in Warsaw, Krakow and Wroclaw and sponsoring seminars and educational trips to Israel for young Polish Jews.

 

 


Synagogue in Gdansk (Danzig) Poland, one of the first cities to fall to Germany, in WW II

 

 

   Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, recited a memorial prayer for the six million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust, and recalled the Jewish soldiers who served in the Polish Armed Forces and died while fighting the Nazi invaders. A number of young Jews from across Poland, many who have just discovered their Jewish roots, took part, which highlighted the ongoing revival of Polish Jewry. Therefore, the slogan, “70 years later we are still here,” was the banner under which the ceremony took place.     

 

     In his remarks at the ceremony, Shavei Israel Chairman Michael Freund said: “It is incumbent upon us to mark this sad day, to ponder its consequences and to internalize its lessons. But we cannot and must not lose hope – a Jew is not allowed to despair. The participation of young Polish Jews in this ceremony, many of whom have only recently returned to their Jewish roots, is compelling proof that the Nazis and their collaborators ultimately failed. Seven decades after the Holocaust, the Jewish spark is once again coming to life here in Poland.”

 

 


Rabbi Michael Schudrich speaking at the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939.

 

 

    “Israel and world Jewry must rise to the challenge and facilitate this process of reconnecting young Poles with their Jewish roots. Shavei Israel is proud to be partnering with Poland’s Jewish community and helping to foster this historic rebirth. Seventy years later, Polish Jewry is still here,” said Freund.

Jewish Community Contacts

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

 


         Over the past few weeks, I have been sharing contact information about various secular organizations in Poland. In response to many e-mail requests, this week I am offering a list of all the Jewish community offices in Poland. Each community has contact information, some with an e-mail address. They look forward to correspondence from people around the world. The general website for Poland’s Jewish communities is  www.jewish.org.pl. I am sorry to report that, at the moment, the website is in Polish only. But there are office personnel who will answer e-mails in English.


 


Office of the Jewish Communities in Poland


00-950 Warszawa (Warsaw)


ul. Twarda 6


Tel/fax: (22) 652 28 05


E-mail: varshe@jewish.org.pl


 


Bielsko-Bia


łej


Community President: Dorota Wiewióra


ul. 3 Maja 7, 43-300 Bielsko-Bia


ła,


Tel/fax: (33) 812-24-38, (33) 812-66-54,


E-mail: gwz@bb.onet.pl


 


Bytom


ul. Piekarska 56, 41-902 Bytom


filia w Gliwicach


ul. Dolnych Wa


łów 9, 44-100 Gliwice,


Tel: (32) 314-797


 


Gdansk


(58) 344 06 02,


gdansk@jewish.org


Community president: Micha


ł Rucki.


Secretary: Krystyna Malewska,


gdansk.jewish.org.pl


 


Katowitza (Katowitz)


President – W


łodzimierz Kac


ul. M


łyńska 13,40-098 Katowice,


Tel/fax: (32) 253-77-42, tel. (32) 253-02-09,


E-mail: gwzkatowice@poczta.onet.pl


 


Krakow


Community president – Tadeusz Jakubowicz


ul. Skawi


ńska 2,31-066 Kraków,


Tel: (12) 429-57-35


 


Legnicy


Community leaders – Józef Zilberman/Ela Felcman


ul. Chojnowska 12, 59-220 Legnica


Tel/fax: (76) 8622-730


 


Lodz


ul. Pomorska 18 91/416 Łódź – Polska (Poland)


Tel/fax. (+48 42) 632 04 27


Tel/fax. (+48 42) 633 51 56


E-mail: symcha@jewishcommunity.org


Jewish Culture and History Center


ul. Pomorska 18 91/416 Łódź – Polska


Tel: (+48 42) 632 04 11


E-mail: fundacja@zgw.lodz


Jewish Cemetery in Lodz


ul. Bracka 40


Tel: (+48 42) 656 70 19


tel. kom. 607 459 560


E-mail: mitelman@zgw.lodz


Dom Dziennego Pobytu Guest House


ul. Pomorska 18 91/416 Łódź – Polska


Tel: (+48 42) 633 84 07


E-mail: ddzp@zgw.lodz


 


Poznan


Przewodnicząca – Alicja Kobus


ul. Stawna 10, 61-582 Poznań,


Tel: (61) 855-21-18


 


Szczecinie (Szczecin)


Community leaders: Mikołaj Rozen/Róża Król


ul. Niemcewicza 2,71-553 Szczecin,


Tel: (91) 422-19-05,


E-mail: gwzszczecin@jewish.org


 


Wrocław


Ul. Mickiewicza 18, 58-300 Wałbrzych


Tel: 071 34 364 01


E-mail: wroclaw@jewish.org.pl


wroclaw.jewish.org.pl


 


Warszawa (Warsaw)


00-950 Warszawa


ul. Twarda 6


Tel/fax: (22) 652 28 05


E-mail: varshe@jewish.org.pl

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/jewish-community-contacts/2008/02/27/

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