Poland

Auschwitz thieves show how they stole sign

By Robyn Rosen, December 22, 2009

Three men who have confessed to stealing the Arbeit Macht Frei sign from the entrance gates of Auschwitz have re-enacted the theft for police.

Police found the 16-foot wrought-iron sign cut into three pieces on Sunday evening in northern Poland and arrested five men, aged in their 20s and 30s.

It had been stolen before 5 o’clock on Friday morning and had been unscrewed on one side and then wrenched off.

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Rabbi's lavish embassy welcome signals new dawn in Polish ties

By Simon Rocker, December 10, 2009

The Polish Embassy held a kosher reception on Tuesday to welcome the first rabbi born in Poland to serve in the country for 40 years.

Remarkably, Rabbi Maciej Pawlak did not even find out he was Jewish until he was 15.

Now, aged 32, he is the living embodiment of the revival of Jewish life in Poland as principal of the Lauder-Morasha Jewish day school with 200 children in Warsaw.

Hosted by the embassy, his visit to the UK was due to include an address at yesterday’s annual Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies conference at the embassy.

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Jeneration will run trip to Poland

November 19, 2009

Jeneration, the pluralist initiative for students and young adults, has announced it will run a trip to Poland next year — its first overseas visit for students.

Educator Jeremy Leigh will lead the four-day tour, which takes in Auschwitz and Krakow, covering the high and low points of Jewish life in eastern Europe.

Jerusalem-based Mr Leigh is a history lecturer who has been organising education trips for more than 20 years.

There are 20 places available for people aged 18 to 25.

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Interview: Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich

By Martin Bright, November 5, 2009

The rabbi at the centre of the row over the Conservative Party’s alliance with the controversial Polish MEP Michal Kaminski has issued a fierce condemnation of the MEP’s refusal to support an official apology for Polish involvement in the notorious wartime Jedwabne massacre of Jews.

However, Michael Schudrich, chief rabbi of Poland, confirmed that Mr Kaminski had been a staunch supporter of Israel in recent years and had spoken out against antisemitism in the Polish parliament.

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Polish Chief Rabbi: my views on Kaminski

By Jessica Elgot, October 30, 2009

The Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, has reiterated that he does not believe controversial Polish MEP Michal Kaminski is antisemitic — but admitted he does have concerns over the politician’s past.

Mr Kaminski has been at the centre of the row over the Conservatives' new rightwing allies in the European parliament. He is the leader of the European parties' bloc.

He has been accused of antisemitism by the Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who used Rabbi Schudrich’s comments to the New Statesman as a basis for his attack.

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Ayalon: I didn't know about Kaminski row until I read it in the JC

By Miriam Shaviv, October 29, 2009

The Israeli politician who hosted the controversial MEP at the heart of the row over David Cameron’s alliance in Europe has admitted he was not aware of the MEP’s controversial comments about Jews — until he read them in the JC this week.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who met Polish MEP Michal Kaminski in Israel this summer, said:“I knew him as a staunch supporter of Israel who upholds democratic values and believes in a strong response to terrorism. This was our basis for the meeting.”

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Stephen Fry apologises to Poland

By Robyn Rosen, October 19, 2009

Comic actor Stephen Fry has apologised for comments he made which implied Poles were to blame for the atrocities at Auschwitz.

Earlier this month, Mr Fry appeared on Channel 4 News to speak about his objection to the Conservative party’s ties with Poland’s Law and Justice party.

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Kaminski admits wearing 'fascist' symbol

By Martin Bright and Jessica Elgot, October 10, 2009

Michal Kaminski, the Polish MEP at the centre of the controversy over David Cameron’s European alliances has admitted he wore the symbol of a totalitarian group, claims he had previously denied.

In an interview with the JC, Mr Kaminski was asked if he had ever said he was proud to wear the Chrobry Sword, the symbol of the National Radical Camp (ONR).

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Poland accuses Stephen Fry of 'defamation'

By Robyn Rosen, October 9, 2009

The Polish Embassy has accused comic actor, Stephen Fry, of “defamation” after he allegedly implied that the Polish nation was responsible for the atrocities at Auschwitz.

Mr Fry was interviewed on Channel 4 news earlier this week by Jon Snow where he criticised the Conservative party’s ties with Poland’s Law and Justice party.

Mr Fry is among the high profile figures who have spoken out against the Polish party’s alleged homophobic and antisemitic views, which Polish MEP, Michal Kaminksi, denies.

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Tributes for leader of Warsaw ghetto uprising

By Jessica Elgot, October 5, 2009

World leaders have paid tribute to the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, who has died aged 90.

Marek Edelman was the last leader of the resistance group which organised the uprising in 1943, the most successful armed urban resistance to the Nazis during the second world war.

Edelman was one of half a million Jews forced into Europe’s largest ghetto, in Warsaw.

When the Nazis began deporting people from the ghetto in 1942, Edelman formed the ZOB (Jewish Combat Organisation- in Polish) with Mordechai Anielewicz.

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