Poland

Fury as Poland suspends Holocaust payments

By Nissan Tzur, March 17, 2011

The decision by the Polish government to suspend the legislation to compensate former property owners, whose assets were confiscated during the Second World World War and the Communist period, has caused outrage among world Jewish leaders.

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Book on Polish Holocaust 'exploitation' causes uproar

By Nissan Tzur, March 3, 2011

A controversial new book which argues that some Poles gained financially from the plight of Jews during the Holocaust has sparked outrage in Poland and abroad.

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On this day: Roman Polanski flees

By Jennifer Lipman, February 1, 2011

When the Swiss Justice Ministry rejected an extradition request from the United States for Polanski last summer, it was just the latest chapter in a story every bit as dramatic and complex as one of the director’s films.

Born Raimund Liebling in Paris, Polanski survived the Holocaust by escaping from the Krakow ghetto, although his mother was killed in Auschwitz.

After the war he worked his way up in the Polish film world, moving to Hollywood in the 1960s and going on to make Oscar-winning classics including Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, and The Pianist.

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On this day: The German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact

By Jennifer Lipman, January 26, 2011

Just a year after Adolf Hitler was chosen as chancellor of Germany, Poland became the first state to form such an alliance with the Nazi administration. Anxious over rising tension between the Nazis and the Soviets, fearful of becoming too reliant on other European powers such as France, Poland’s leaders took a gamble on Germany.

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Record year for visitors to Auschwitz museum

By Jennifer Lipman, January 13, 2011

Auschwitz has experienced the highest number of visitors since the former concentration camp was opened up to the public more than 60 years ago.

Some 1.38 million people toured the museum in 2010, eclipsing the previous year’s attendance of 1.3 million.

Outside of Polish groups, the majority of visitors were British, followed by high numbers from Italy and France. Around 850,000 were students.

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Director of Polish Holocaust memorial attacked

By Jennifer Lipman, December 23, 2010

The Polish government has been urged to clamp down on antisemitism in the wake of an attack on a non-Jewish man who works to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called for a “swift response” after bricks with swastikas on them and firecrackers were thrown through the window of Tomasz Pietrasiewicz’s home in Lublin.

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PSC play at Polish Centre sparks angry demo

By Jessica Elgot, December 9, 2010

Community leaders have accused the Palestine Solidarity Campaign of sabotaging Polish-Jewish relations by staging Seven Jewish Children at the Polish Centre in Hammersmith.

The Caryl Churchill play, originally staged at the Royal Court immediately after the Gaza offensive in 2009, was denounced by many critics as antisemitic.

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Three charged over Auschwitz sign theft

By Jessica Elgot, November 26, 2010

A Swedish man with alleged neo-Nazi ties has been charged with stealing the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ sign from Auschwitz.

Anders Hogstrom was extradited to Poland in April. He has been charged alongside two Poles, who have been identified as Andrzej S. and Marcin A.

Prosecutors in Krakow said all three men had already confessed and agreed to serve sentences of around two-and-a-half years. If the court accepts their plea bargins, they could be sentenced immediately without trial.

Hogstrom is expected to serve in a Swedish jail if convicted.

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On this day: the Warsaw Ghetto is sealed

By Jennifer Lipman, November 16, 2010

In 1939 when the Nazis invaded Poland Warsaw’s Jewish community, which at the time made up about 30 per cent of the city’s population, was the second largest in the world.

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Kaminski invited on Jewish tour of Britain

By Leon Symons, November 3, 2010

Controversial Polish right-wing politician Michal Kaminski has been invited to visit Britain to meet community leaders and talk to the Anglo-Jewish community.

Mr Kaminski has been invited to Mill Hill United Synagogue in north west London by its minister Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, and is likely to visit at least one other Orthodox synagogue. It is also likely that he will meet members of the Charedi community, some of whom were invited to visit Jewish historical sites by the Polish Foreign Ministry last month.

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