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September 11, 1987 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-09-11

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

Visiting Kaddish-Sayers In The Vast Polish Cemetery

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

p

Editor Emeritus

Oland is a vast Jewish cemetery.
There are no Kaddish-sayers to
speak of. There are some Jews in
Cracow, in Warsaw, perhaps in a few
other isolated communities that com-
prise the surviving 5,000 individuals,
a few more or a few less. There are sur-
viving members of families who were
slaughtered by the Nazis or in pogroms.
There is a new, tragic trend among
them.
Some are visiting the former Jewish
communities to remember, to pay
tribute to the dead, to recite the Kad-
dish. This is one of the stories related
in a cabled report in the New York
Times from Kielce, Poland by correspon-
dent John Tagliabue. He described the
visit to Kielce by about 40 surviving
members of the murdered tens of
thousands. They found the synagogue
turned into a storage place.
The correspondent traced the
background of Kielce whence in 1943
some 25,000 Jews remaining in the
local ghetto were removed by train and
sent to the Nazi death camps.
Tagliabue's cabled report continues:

"Kielce (pronounced Kell-suh) is
also the place where, in July 1943, Ger-
man soldiers killed 45 Jewish children,
the eldest 13 years of age. And it was
here, in 1946, after the fires of war had
subsided, that 42 Jewish survivors of
Nazi terrorism were killed by local
Poles after Jews were wrongly accused
of abducting a Polish youth!'
What a horrifying recollection
about a pogrom in Poland when the
Nazis were already driven from power
there! It is a recollection of utilization
of the Blood Libel as means of exter-
minating Jews. It is a horrifying tale
about out-Naziing the Nazis!
The NYTimes correspondent com-
mented that the visit from this country
and Canada of "the survivors of the war
marked those two tragedies specifical-
ly and the larger tragedy of Jews in
Poland in general!' He also commented
on the deep suspicion and hurt ex-
perienced by the returnees. There was
the recollection of the 25,000 Jews out
of a total population of 60,000 some 50
years ago. "Now there are no Jews left
there!'
Isn't this the total experience of the
Jews in Poland?
In the statement that summarized
the meeting of Jewish leaders with Pope

John Paul II and several Catholic
dignitaries, there is a reference to the
Pope's personal reminiscences of his
visits in Polish communities in which
Jews also had lived before the Shoah,
the Holocaust. That reference in the
released statement about the historic
conference reads:
The Pope affirmed the im-
portance of the proposed docu-
ment on the Shoah and anti-
Semitism for the church and for
the world. The Pope spoke of his
personal experience in Poland
and his memories of living close
to a Jewish community now
destroyed. He recalled his re-
cent spontaneous address to the
Jewish community in Warsaw,
in which he spoke of the Jewish
people as a force of conscience
in the world today and of Jewish
memory of the Shoah as a "war-
ning, a witness and a silent cry"
to all humanity.

Kielce represents one of the deepest
marks of sorrow for Poles like the Pope
when they speak with compassion for
the Jews who perished, for the Jewish
communities that were annihilated, for
the crimes in which Poles and other col-

laborators had a share in the Nazi
crimes. Therefore, the duty to
remember, not to forget, not to condone,
whether the guilty are like Kurt
Waldheim and their like.
There is a local recollection with
regard to Kielce. Several days after the
Kielce pogrom in 1946, the Detroit
Jewish community joined in worldwide
protests against the Kielce occurrence
that revived the outrageous Blood Lie
and resorted to a pogrom that matched
the worst of the Nazi and Russian
Czarist crimes. I presided at a mass
meeting in the old Arena Gardens on
Woodward and Palmer. More than 5,000
attended and expressed their horror
and protests, over what occurred in
Kielce. The late congressman John D.
Dingell Sr., himself of Polish origin, was
among those who joined in the condem-
nation of the Kielce inhumanities.
Poland in its totality is a vast
Jewish cemetery. Kielce is a reminder
of the annihilation of more than three
million Polish Jews. Some are return-
ing merely to recite the Kaddish. The
crimes remain unforgettable and un-
forgiveable. Is the Pope's declaration to
be judged as concurring in the
condemnations?

Book Plates Personify The Simons 'Tlradition

B

ook plates are as old as the ages.
In a sense, they are as ancient as
the first published books. Book
lovers generally have a desire to retain
what they purchase and read, and their
preservation is emphasized in the book
plates.
There is an art in book plating and
the skilled products symbolize book
lovers and create a fascination in the ar-
tistry of this zeal.
Leonard N. Simons now emerges as
one of the enthusiasts for this art and
his creative contributions to book
plating and book markings serve to in-
dicate his achievements as a leader in
encouraging the creation and support
of libraries. He has a high record in
book collecting and in recent years he
has shared his vast possessions with
major libraries.
While LNS has earned an enviable
record as an advertising executive, it is
as a bibliophile that he has become
equally notable. The Wayne State

2

FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 1987

University Press building in Detroit
bears his name. The university's library
is being enriched with his book collec-
tions and in the naming of the book
shelves and a reading room in his honor.
The Temple Beth El and Brandeis
University libraries are similarly pro-
vided with his monumental book gifts.
Now the Simons name acquires pro-
minence in book plating and book
marking. Always appreciative of the
sharing in his love for books by his wife,
the late Harriette Lieberman Simons,
Leonard just established the Harriette
L. Simons Classical Studies Library in
Wayne State University's Classical
Studies Department. He was joined in
this task by their two daughters, in ap-
preciation of wife's and mother's many
years' interest in Greek and Roman
history.
A collection of 500 books of the Har-
vard University Press classical studies
is the main feature in the tribute
collection.
It is the book plate for these works
that lends special distribution to the
honors accorded to Harriette's name.
The book plate was designed by
Leonard himself, and it has just been
accepted into the collection of nation-
ally acclaimed book plates.
Leonard Simons is on record with a
precedent in personal bookplating. For-
ty years ago, when he was appointed to
the newly created Detroit Historical
Commission, which he later served as
president for a number of years, he
made a personal design. Because he
had collected more than 2,000 books,
new and old, on Detroit historical sub-
jects, he felt the need for the personaliz-

book plate with significance to the
latest creditable achievement of the
Detroit bibliophile Leonard N. Simons.

Delightful Festivity In
Grandparents' Citadel

A

Harriette L. Simons
CLASSICAL.
StLI DIC
LI13gARV

Wayne State

University

ed bookplating. These books were
presented by him on his 50th birthday
to Wayne State University in 1954.
They are now in the Leonard N. Simons
Room of the WSU Library.
Such is the rich record in
bookplating that has just been includ-
ed in the notable book plates included
in and widely circulated by the
American Society of Book Plate Collec-
tors and Designers. The current issue
of Book Plates in the News lends added
importance to the Harriette Simons

new day on the calendar al-
ready assures delight for those
that are blessed to continue ac-
tively for three or more generations of
families.
Grandparents Day set for the com-
ing Sunday assures delight for the
young and their elders, grandparents
and grandchildren, with the in-between
parents benefiting from functions that
will surely add to and assure continu-
ing family unity.
The inspiration produced by the
legalistic formalities that makes
Grandparents Day an acknowledged
national formality on the calendar
gains delight on the local Jewish scene.
The day will be observed by the three
generations and more where fortune
has enriched longevity with special
events at the Jewish Home for Aged.
This is a collective task that adds im-
measurably to the purpose of the day.
There is special significance in the fact
that the celebration is planned to in-
troduce the 80th anniversary of the
Detroit Jewish Home for Aged.
Therefore, Grandparents Day
becomes especially thrilling as a new
holiday on the calendar, as a Detroit
Jewish communal festival for the cur-
rent year.
Therefore, a special salute on this
inaugural day to the grandparents to be
honored, to the grandchildren and their
Continued on Page 36

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