Jeremy Clarkson's WW2 spoof backfires

By Jessica Elgot, August 5, 2009
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson is not known for his tact.

But now the presenter, who has insulted most European countries, has added another, Poland, to his list after making a spoof car advert about Germany's invasion of Poland, which led to World War Two.

Ofcom has confirmed it received 47 complaints about the advert, shown during this season’s Top Gear finale on BBC 2.

The tag in the joke advert is “Volkswagen Scirocco TDI. Berlin to Warsaw in one tank”, referring to the car economical use of fuel.


Squatters evicted from Swan pub

By Marcus Dysch, May 6, 2009

A group of Polish squatters have been evicted from a pub owned by a strictly Orthodox Jewish community.

The men had entered the Swan, in Stamford Hill, last month and displayed a notice from the Criminal Law Act explaining their intention to live in the building.

It is believed representatives of the Bobov community, who own the Clapton Common site and hope to turn it into a community centre and synagogue, obtained an interim possession order (IPO) from a county court.

The squatters were then removed last Friday afternoon.


Polish squatters hijack the ‘shul’ pub

By Marcus Dysch, April 29, 2009

A group of Polish squatters have taken control of a pub bought by a Jewish community group which hoped to turn it into a synagogue.

The Swan, in Stamford Hill, has been empty since it closed in January when it was sold to members of the Bobov community.

It is thought the squatters entered the building a number of weeks ago and four people are now living there permanently.

The pub’s front door displays a notice from the group quoting the Criminal Law Act, which is widely used by illegal tenants to make it a crime in most circumstances for a landlord to force entry.


Squatters locked me out, then stole my art

By Leon Symons, March 26, 2009

The life of an Israeli artist has been wrecked by a group of Polish squatters who broke into and occupied his home twice, stripping it of his work and possessions.

Ya’akov Boussidan was initially left with bills of hundreds of pounds for telephone calls and utilities, as well as repairs for the damage they caused at his house — once the home of the actress Marie Lloyd — in Lewisham, south London.

While he was trying to regain possession of his home, he fell ill and spent three weeks in hospital.


Poles take Coren fight to European Court

By Jan Shure, March 5, 2009

A complaint against The Times and its columnist Giles Coren has been lodged at the European Court of Human Rights by the Federation of Poles in Great Britain.

It is the latest bid by the FPGB to censure the newspaper over a column written by Mr Coren on July 26, headlined: “Two waves of immigration, Poles apart.” The Press Complaints Commission rejected a complaint by the organisation lodged shortly after the article appeared.


Polish president at shul

December 23, 2008

Poland’s president Lech Kaczynski marked the start of Chanucah by visiting Warsaw’s main synagogue, the first time a head of state had attended a religious service at a synagogue in the Eastern European country.


Coren: 'No insult'

November 27, 2008

The Press Complaints Commission has rejected a complaint by the UK Federation of Poles that an article by Times writer Giles Coren insulted Polish immigrants and portrayed them as antisemites.


Elstree Federation Synagogue visit Poland with their minister

October 16, 2008

Thirty members of Elstree's Federation Synagogue, Ohr Yisroel, went on a two-day visit to Poland led by their minister, Rabbi Raphy Garson and his wife Deborah. The tour was hosted by J-Roots, a division of Aish UK specialising in trips to Eastern Europe for young Jews, and accompanied by Auschwitz survivor Eva Neuman. In addition to visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Elstree group toured the Jewish quarter of Krakow, as well as Kielce and Krasnik. Lightning visits were also paid to the Lublin yeshivah, the site of Maidenek concentration camp and the Warsaw Ghetto.


Auschwitz site ‘needs £50m refit’

By Marcus Dysch, August 21, 2008

Almost £50 million is needed to preserve buildings at Auschwitz, according to officials maintaining the site.

Museum director Piotr Cywinski has appealed to EU governments to help fund repair work and create new exhibition centres.

The Polish government contributes around 10 million zloty (£2.5m) each year, with foreign contributors donating around 600,000 zloty (£150,000).

Some former barracks buildings require urgent reinforcement, with funds also needed to convert other structures into educational rooms for visitors.


Bielski’s son attacks Polish massacre ‘lies’

By Dana Gloger, August 14, 2008

The son of a legendary wartime partisan on whom a new Hollywood film is based has spoken out against allegations in the Polish press branding the partisans "murderers and thieves".

Robert Bielski's father Tuvia led 1,230 Jews through the Belarusian forest after escaping Nazi-occupied Poland, and built a secret village there.

Now his story has been made into a film based on Nechama Tec's book Defiance: The Bielski Partisans. Produced by Edward Zwick, it stars James Bond actor Daniel Craig as Bielski as well as Billy Elliot actor Jamie Bell.