Hi everyone, just wanted to share some of my thoughts about the subject. I’m a Pole, living (of course) in Poland, and a passionate Polish-Jewish history enthusiast. Perhaps especially in the wake of the recent tragedies in Israel a great sadness comes to my heart for the fate of our ancient Jewish community, whose 90% of members met a fate so brutal in the years 1942-45. The current Polish-Jewish relations are sometimes a delicate subject, not handled especially well by our (now departing) government, to say the least. There are a lot of difficult and complex issues to adress here, like the pre-war antisemitism in Poland, the wartime Jedwabne and post-war Kielce pogroms, and the 1968 exodus of Jews. I think many misunderstandings on those subjects comes from the fact that most Poles are ashamed of such atrocities perpetrated by some members of our nation on firstly, people already facing a genocidal campaign from our occupiers at the time, and secondly, fellow members of the Polish nation, just of a different faith/ethnicity, and many have a difficulty with admitting this to others, and perhaps even more, to themselves. I want to assure you that I am sincerely saddened by those events. Of course, any adult sense of belonging to a nation orders facing up to others and to yourself the actions of its members. I however wouldn’t like anyone, especially any Jew, to think that our nation is antisemitic. I especially want to underline, perhaps also because of recent events, that our country was, is, and ever will be your second home. No person in the right mind would say that there is no issue of antisemitism here (according to the most recent ADL survey, 35% of the population harbor antisemitic attitudes), but these are not issues that cannot be (or to say even more, are not, albeit slowly) adressed. I, despite all these, still view our nations as a greater shared whole. Many of the most prominent Polish people (if not most, in case of the scientists) were of Jewish origin. Conversly, many of the most prominent Jews (again, if not most looking at the Israeli statesmen and stateswomen) were Polish Jews. My appeals are also adressed to those people (who, I am very aware, constitute a minority) that view our nation as a whole as antisemitic. My desire is not to condemn or judge anyone, as firstly, the Jewish people suffered a genocide which brutality, scale and planning could not be imagined by anyone before, and secondly, the ethnic Poles did not do all of which it should to save their Polish Jewish brothers and sisters – perhaps an even greater sin than the atrocities commited by the minority was the silence of the majority. This is certainly a too extensive and complex topic to even begun to be covered in a single post like this one. I just want all of those reading this not to forget that despite all these facts in the relationship between us there are many (if not most), and certainly a growing number of Poles like myself who consider Jews as our brothers and sisters, who despite the many years past still grieve at what happened to Jews on our soil, who are ashamed of those (and certainly more less well known) crimes commited by some (independently on how small or large this group had been) members of our nation on fellow victims of the Nazi occupation, fellow members of the Polish nation, and most importantly, fellow humans at their most vulnerable days, and would gladly see a greater revival of Jewish life in Poland, perhaps some day to the pre-war levels. And most importantly, for me (and perhaps I may say for us) Poland remains the second home for Jews from the whole world, and they remain for us our brothers and sisters, just as during medieval times, when so many expelled Jews from the whole of Europe took refuge in our country, and during the times of the Second Polish Republic, when 10% of the Polish population and 40% of citizens of our capital were Jews. Perhaps it is more important than ever during this difficult times, when Jews are attacked en masse in their own country, and when global antisemitism seems on the (let’s hope an only temporary) rise.
Sharing my thoughts
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