Nazis declared both Jews and Poles “sub-human.” Neither flag had flown in
1943, was a declaration of faith in humanity, which the Ghetto’s fighters believed would be restored once the Nazis were defeated.
Even today some people feel the words “Jewish cultural life” and “
Yet almost all forms of Jewish identity originated in
were to be dashed, the dream is becoming a reality in today’s
The Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture plays a leading role in supporting all aspects of Jewish life in
The Taube Foundation has supported nearly 40 different cultural and educational organizations serving the Jewish community, working to re-establish a healthy Jewish presence in a country that once stood at the heart of Jewish culture.
This is a victory against overwhelming odds. In 1989,
Without Nazi or communist occupation, the country could finally speak with its own voice. At first, Jews’ status in this new democracy was ambiguous – particularly after 1968’s communist-led Jewish expulsion. Official and popular support for Poland’s
renascent Jewish community was widespread, and sympathy for Israel consistent (Solidarity leader and Poland’s first democratic President Lech Walesa visited Israel early, publicly asking forgiveness for Poland’s anti-Semitic past). But anti-Semitism still
However, the past two decades have seen a consistent improvement of Polish-Jewish relations, and a rebirth of Jewish culture. Jewish schools and summer camps are open again, and synagogues are being rebuilt for worship and as cultural centers.
I was born in
In elections, Poles resoundingly reject right-wing politics and bring liberal coalitions to power. Poland and Israel jointly supported nomination of Irena Sendlerowa, one of Poland’s Righteous Gentiles, for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, and just last month Polish
President Lech Kaczynski once again condemned the 1968 anti-Semitic campaign, promising to reinstate Polish citizenship for those expelled.
Next week, the
Poles today no longer deny the dark pages of their history, and they embrace a reborn Jewish presence.
The Ghetto insurgents – heroes and visionaries – were right to hope for such a
By Tad Taube