Poland

Demjanjuk Calls Munich Trial ‘Torture’

04/13/2010

(JTA) — John Demjanjuk addressed the court at his German war crimes trial for the first time, expressing anger over the proceedings.

In a statement read by his attorney, Ulrich Busch, in the Munich courtroom on Tuesday, Demjanjuk, 90, called the trial “torture.” Demjanjuk was officially charged in December 2009 as an accessory to the murder of 29,700 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in Poland in 1943.

‘We Lost A Friend’

Polish president, victim of plane crash in Russia,
had close ties to the Jewish community.

04/13/2010
Special to The Jewish Week

Note: The Polish people suffered a loss when President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and 94 other passengers on a Russian jet, including many top Polish officials, were killed in a crash Saturday near Smolensk, Russia. Jewish leaders in Poland praised Kaczynski, 60, as a true friend of the Jewish community and Israel, and participants in the annual March of the Living wore black armbands this week in the president’s memory.

Late Polish President Lech Kaczynki, right, with Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich at Chanukah celebration in Warsaw shul.

Toyota, Auschwitz And Chelm

04/13/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

This week, I’ll be joining the March of the Living, an annual pilgrimage from Poland to Israel. The experience of the Holocaust stands alone in Jewish history, a godless counterpoint to all things sacred. Alongside the majestic peaks of Sinai and Zion, our view now includes this man-made mountain of children’s shoes, empty luggage and echoing shrieks, a clump of human refuse that dwarfs everything around it, taller than Sinai, more imposing than Zion, more insurmountable than Everest.

Israel, Jews express shock, condolences to Poland

04/11/2010

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Israel's president expressed "pain, shock and distress" following the airplane crash Saturday that killed Poland's president, Lech Kaczynski, and a swath of the country's leadership.

"In the many meetings I had with President Kaczynski, I discovered a great leader, determined to press his country forward, a man very much in touch with his people, and who had adopted the viewpoint of a democratic and advanced world," Shimon Peres said in a statement Saturday.

Mourning, In Silence And Prayer

04/07/2010

It is two minutes of silence that have lasted nearly six decades.

In 1951 Israel established Yom HaZikaron laShoah ve-laGvura, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day, as the period observed by most of the Jewish community as the official commemoration period for the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and for participants in Jewish resistance to the Nazis.

Photographs by Getty Images

Slow Jewish Revival In Gdansk

A Passover seder on the Baltic is a rare chance for isolated Jews to celebrate together.

04/07/2010
Staff Writer

Gdansk, Poland – Marianna Grochola left her home at 11:30 a.m. last Monday for a 6:45 p.m. seder.

A widow and retired accountant, a child survivor of the Holocaust who grew up in communist Poland, Grochola took a bus to her railroad station in Slupsk, a small town 120 miles west of Gdansk. Then she took a slow train north, then walked a few miles from the main railroad station here to the city’s sole extant synagogue, the site of the first-night seder.

Marianna Grochola, travels 120 miles from her small town in northern Poland to a seeder in Gdansk each year.

The Seder’s Reminder Of Dawn

03/24/2010

Slavery, like the fog, comes in on cat’s feet. For all the analogies to the black experience, shackled suddenly in Africa and shipped on the Middle Passage, Jewish slavery and hard times through the years has been different; loss of freedom, dignity and destiny comes slowly, even gently, golden eras slipping into lesser ones, almost inexplicably, and undeserved.

Remembering The Forgotten

New Holocaust documentary
highlights the experiences of those
in lesser-known transports.

03/23/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Lukas Pribyl was looking for his grandfather. He knew the old man had been deported from Czechoslovakia in October 1939. He knew his grandfather had been taken to a camp whose name was all but forgotten, not one of the infamous extermination camps of Poland or the concentration camps for political prisoners like Dachau or Mauthausen. Just a small way station in the hell that was Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe, a siding to oblivion where his grandfather died.
 

Young Polish Jews in happier times: An image from Lukas Pribyl’s “Forgotten Transports: To Poland.”

Frum And Funny

03/11/2005
Staff Writer

In Cedarhurst, the Long Island hamlet a few miles southwest of JFK Airport, the rumble of low-flying planes was audible inside the Chofetz Chaim Torah Center, where Ayelet, billed as The Kosher Komic, was performing on a recent Saturday night.

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