Poland

Poland to deport Israeli

By Jennifer Lipman, July 7, 2010

Poland is to deport an alleged Mossad agent to Germany.

Uri Brodsky, an Israeli suspected of involvement in the killing of a Hamas operative in Dubai, has three days to appeal the extradition order.

He was arrested in Warsaw in June for allegedly helping a Mossad agent obtain a false German passport by using a concocted story.

Judge Tomasz Talkiewicz said the court had not decided whether Mr Brodsky was behind the forgery.

He said: “The court only checked whether the extradition request fulfils the formal requirements and whether the suspect is correctly identified.”

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Survivors retrace first Auschwitz journey

By Jennifer Lipman, June 14, 2010

A trio of Holocaust survivors has set off on a journey to retrace the first rail convoy to Auschwitz exactly 70 years after it happened.

A memorial train will retrace the 140 kilometre route from Tarnow, in southern Poland, to Oswiecim, where the Nazis built the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1940.

On June 14 1940 the first train left for Auschwitz carrying 728 Jews and other victims of Nazi persecution to the gas chambers.

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Auschwitz reopens after flood threat

By Jessica Elgot, May 21, 2010

Auschwitz has reopened to visitors after extreme floods, which have claimed the lives of seven people in Poland, forced the museum to close.

Thousands were evacuated from their homes after the Vistula and Sola rivers flooded after heavy rain.

Auschwitz’s museum has been closed since Monday, as volunteers and firefighters worked to build flood barriers to protect it from the rising water. Archives and thousands of items belonging to the camp’s victims were re-stored in top floors of the museum’s buildings.

The water reached within a few metres of the grounds on Tuesday night.

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Analysis: We have lost a dear friend in the late Polish president

By Rabbi Michael Schudrich , April 15, 2010

We lost a friend.

As president of Poland, Lech Kaczynski was a very strong and outspoken supporter of Israel and of our local Jewish community.

Just recently he strongly opposed the Goldstone report, which is quite unusual for a European politician. He insisted on including our small but re-emerging Jewish community at all national ceremonies.

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Survivor leads March of the Living in Poland

By Marcus Dysch, April 15, 2010

Auschwitz survivor Freddie Knoller led a British delegation at the annual March of the Living in Poland this week.

Vienna-born Mr Knoller joined other survivors and thousands of students from around the world on the three-kilometre route from Auschwitz to Birkenau on Monday.

He was invited by the Austrian government to participate in the march, coinciding with Yom Hashoah, the remembrance day for Holocaust victims.

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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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