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April 08, 1983 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-04-08

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

6

Friday, April 8, 1983

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

WJC Denies It Will Snub Warsaw Event

An Officer and A Gentleman
The Road Warrior
Lady Chatterly's Lover
Yes, Giorgio
Blade Runner

NEW YORK (JTA) —
The World Jewish Congress
Wednesday denied a report
in the Wall Street Journal
which claimed that the
Jewish organization had
canceled its plans to attend
the eight-day commemora-
tion of the 40th anniversary
of the Warsaw Ghetto Up-
rising to be held in Warsaw
beginning April 15.
Elan Steinberg, director
of the WJC-American Sec-
tion, said a delegation of six
representatives of its execu-
tive committee will partici-
pate in the commemoration.
Included in the delegation
will be Kalman Sultnik and
Dr. Gerhart Riegner, vice
president and secretary
general of the WJC, respec-
tively.
However, according to
Steinberg, Edgar
Bronfman, the WJC
president, will not be among
the members of the delega-
tion to Poland. It was ex-
plained that this was an at-

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tempt by the WJC to pre-
vent the Polish govern-
ment, which is officially
sponsoring the event, from
politicizing it.
As the president of the
WJC, rules of protocol
would obligate
Bronfman to meet with
his counterpart or a
representative of the host
country, Steinberg ex-
plained. Bronfman's de-
cision was made to thus
emphasize that the com-
memoration is "a Jewish
event" and not a "politi-
cal event."
The WJC governing
board decided last February
"in principle" that it would
participate in the com
memorative event and
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member communities par-
ticipate in the observance as
well. At that time, the gov-
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there should not be Jews to
bear witness and recite
Kadish."
Steinberg said that
some 1,000 delegates repre
senting 24 countries, in
eluding Israel and the
Soviet Union will attend the
ceremonies.
Some 400 delegates from
Israel, including Education
Minister Zevulun Hammer,
will participate. It was es-
timated that between 100
and 150 members of the
American Jewish commu-
nity will participate in the
ceremonies.
The Workmen's Circle,
the world's largest
Jewish fraternal organ-
ization, said it will not
participate in the cere-
monies, and has called on
American Jewish leaders
"to renounce this event
for the cynical insult it
has become to all those
martyred and who have
survived the Holocaust."
Marek Edelman, the only
surviving leader of the ZOB
(Zydowska Organizacja-
Bojowa — Jewish Fighting
Organization) and deputy
commander of the Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising has re-
fused an invitation to join
the honorary committee of
the event because of its offi-
cial government sponsor-
ship.
Edelman, a delegate to
the first national congress
of the now-outlawed sol-
idarity trade union, was
briefly interned by the
Polish government when
martial law was imposed in
Poland on Dec. 13, 1981.
Edelman, in an open let-
ter to an underground Sol-
idarity newspaper, said:
"Forty years ago we did not
fight merely to survive —
we fought for life in dignity
and freedom. To celebrate
our anniversary here,
where enslavement and
humiliation is now the lot of
the whole society, where
words and gestures have be-
com'e nothing but lies,
would betray the spirit of
our struggle."
The Polish government
has apparently gone to
great effort to see to it
that the commemoration
is as memorable and re-
warding as possible. It
has assumed the cost of
reconstruction, repor-
tedly at a cost of well
above $1 million dollars,
of the old Warsaw syna-
gogue. The building will
be symbolically handed
over to the city's Jewish
community at the open-
ing ceremonies.
Also, on the same day, an
exhibition will open at the
Polish National Museum
retracing the history of Po-
land's Jewish community
and its contributions to
Polish culture and Poland's
struggle for independence.

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