Poland

'Jew' was a swear word in Lublin. Now we fight to tell truth about this city

By Isabel De Bertodano, December 18, 2014

When Polish tour guide Magdalena Pokrzycka-Walczak arrived at work one day in 2012, she was shocked to be told of a complaint against her.

"Two Polish women on one of my tours claimed that I focused too much on the Jewish history of Lublin," says Ms Pokrzycka. "They told my boss to watch out for me because I was probably a Jew."

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Polish court rules shechita ban is ‘against human rights’

By Orlando Radice, December 10, 2014

The was relief across Europe this week as Poland’s constitutional court ruled that the country’s ban on shechita ran against both the country’s basic laws and the European Convention on Human Rights.

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David Cameron 'filled with grief' for Holocaust victims on visit to Auschwitz

By Sandy Rashty, December 10, 2014

David Cameron lit a candle in memory of six million victims of the Holocaust on a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland today.

It was his first visit to the camp as prime minister.

Mr Cameron was accompanied by Jewish Leadership Council head Mick Davis, who is chair of the Holocaust Commission set up by Mr Cameron this year.

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Poland's mantelpiece Jews

By Isabel De Bertodano, December 4, 2014

Some people have porcelain cats on their mantelpieces; others have ceramic Buddhas. In Poland, people have small statues of Jews.

The wooden or clay figurines (above, a selection), found in markets across the country, generally feature thin men with long faces and large noses.

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Polls expose wide-scale hate in Poland, Germany

November 27, 2014

Two surveys conducted in Germany and Poland - one on attitudes to online hate speech and the other on Israel's actions during the recent Gaza conflict - have revealed shockingly high levels of antisemitism.

In a survey conducted in Germany between June and September by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, one in four of those questioned equated Israel's policies towards Palestinians with the Nazis t

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The shul that time forgot

By Isabel De Bertodano, November 6, 2014

One night last week as I was walking through central Lublin with a group of Jews from London, an Orthodox rabbi among us was approached by an excited, middle aged man wearing a black hoodie.

Pawel Matraszek accosted the rabbi, speaking in German and then Yiddish. "I can't believe it, a real Jewish rabbi is here," he said.

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Poles knight Auschwitz rabbi

By Simon Rocker, November 6, 2014

A rabbi who has led more than 150 study missions to Auschwitz has received a Polish knighthood for his services to Holocaust education and dialogue between Jews and Poles.

Rabbi Barry Marcus was presented with the Knight's Cross of the Order of Merit by the Polish Ambassador, Witold Sobkow, in London.

Since taking his first group nearly 20 years ago, he has accompanied more than 25,000 stude

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Unease over 'shul museum'

By Isabel De Bertodano, November 6, 2014

Members of a British delegation to Poland last week expressed mixed feelings on being taken to see the Jewish remnants of Chmielnik, a town in the Kielce region north of Warsaw.

The group, which included United Synagogue president Stephen Pack Rabbi Yoni Birnbaum, of the Hadley Wood community in London, was in the country to attend the opening of the £60 million Polin Museum of the History of

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Polish museum ends decades of 'silence'

By Isabel De Bertodano, October 30, 2014

A chasm in Polish history was bridged this week with the opening of a vast museum dedicated to the country's Jewish past.

"When you are a Jew, even if you were not born in Poland, the very name Poland stirs up trembling and longing in your heart," said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in his address.

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Ukip defends link to extremist Polish party

By Marcus Dysch, October 23, 2014

Ukip has defended its European Parliament alliance with a member of a party whose leader questions the Holocaust and makes racist slurs.

The British party admitted Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz was an "odd bedfellow" following his recruitment this week, but said it was necessary to work with him.

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