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March 29, 1991 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-03-29

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Holocaust Survivors From Poland
Are Wary Of Walesa's Statements


Staff Writer


abbi Charles H.
Rosenzveig re-
members an 11-year-
old boy with long, dark payot
(sidelocks) who waited in the
dead of winter at a train
depot in the Polish town of
He was on his way to
Bialystok, and needed to
change trains. Suddenly, a
Polish man walked up to the
little boy and smacked him
twice across both sides of his
The little boy was Rabbi
Rosenzveig, director of the
Holocaust Memorial Center,
and it's those kinds of
memories that keep him
from placing too much con-
fidence in the promises of
Polish politicians — espe-
cially ones made by Presi-
dent Lech Walesa.
Mr. Walesa, a Roman
Catholic, met Monday in
New York with members of
the World Jewish Congress,
the American Gathering of

Jewish Holocaust Survivors
and the Federation of Polish
Jews, and promised to de-
nounce anti-Semitism and
fight bigotry in Poland.
He pledged to rescind sup-
port for a 1975 United
Nations resolution equating
Zionism with racism; said
he'd find a way to address
the property claims of Jews

"When it comes to
the promises of the
Polish people, it
will take deeds
rather than words
to convince me."

Rabbi Charles H.

who fled Poland after World
War II; and promised to pass .
a law protecting Jewish
cemeteries and synagogues
in Poland as holy places.
"I read what he said and I
think it's a lot of mean-
ingless rhetoric," Rabbi
Rosenzveig said. "I haven't
forgotten the kind of election

campaign he ran just a few
months ago. He practically
accused Tadeusz Mazowiecki
(Walesa's political opponent)
of not being fit to run be-
cause of Jewish blood."
Rabbi Rosenszveig said
that even after the war,
Jews in Poland were still
afraid to walk the streets.
"Poland was the only coun-
try in Eastern Europe that
continued to murder Jews
after the war," he said. "The
Poles murdered Jews during
the 1946 Kielce pogrom.
"When it comes to the
promises of the Polish peo-
ple, it will take deeds rather
than words to convince me."
However, Jewish leaders
like Edgar M. Bronfman,
president of the World Jew-
ish Congress, and Benjamin
Meed, president of the
American Gathering of
Holocaust Survivors, said
Mr. Walesa was sincere and
offered to sit on a commis-
sion that the WJCongress is
establishing to research the
causes of anti-Semitism.
Kalman Sultanik, presi-

Lech Walesa kisses a gift urn during a 1989 U.S. visit.

dent of the Federation of
Polish Jews, asked Mr.
Walesa for assurances that a
Carmelite convent on the
grounds of the Auschwitz
concentration camp would
be relocated.
Last year, the convent
agreed to move to an inter-
faith center to be built near
Aushchwitz, but the Polish

Roman Catholic Primate,
Jozef Cardinal Glemp, spoke
against the agreement.
Reverend Stanislaw
Musial, a visiting Polish
priest who spoke at Temple
Beth-El last week, said the
Catholic Church in Poland is
doing all it can to dispel cen-
turies-old anti-Jewish feel-
ings and prejudices.


Kuwaitis Turn
To Wiesenthal
Vienna — Kuwait has
asked Nazi hunter Simon
Wiesenthal to help bring
Iraqi leader Saddam Hus-
sein to trial for atrocities
committed during the Gulf
War, The European reports.
Representatives of Kuwait
this week called a Jewish
businessman in London, who
in turn contacted Mr.
Wiesenthal's European di-
rector, Shimon Samuels. The
Kuwaitis offered high praise
for the 82-year-old Nazi
hunter, according to The Eu-
Mr. Samuels told the
Kuwaitis that no trial is
possible at this time because
the Allied forces have yet to
set up a judicial structure to
deal with Gulf war crimes.

ALYN Sponsors

Trip To Israel
New York — The ALYN-
American Society for Han-
dicapped Children in Israel
is sponsoring a 1991 mission
to Israel to begin May 15.
The tour will include visits
to communities damaged by


FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 1991

Scud missiles and with chil-
dren at ALYN hospital.
The trip, which is geared
to both first timers and
returning visitors, includes
seven nights in deluxe ho-
tels. For information, con-
tact ALYN, 19 W. 44th St.,
Suite 1418, New York, N.Y.
10036, or call (212) 869-8085.

Don't Pass Over
This Passover
New York — As part of its
campaign to bolster Jewish
education, Lubavitch has
posted 200 billboards with
the message "Don't pass
over Passover" in 50 major
American cities.
In Michigan, the
billboards may be seen in
Grand Rapids and Flint.
In addition to the
billboards, which show mat-
zahs and the four cups of wine
used at the seder, Passover
posters have been placed in
each of the 6,000 subway
cars of the metropolitan New
York transportation system
and in bus shelters in New
Lubavitch spokesmen
estimate that more than 20

million persons will see the
billboards each day.
"Many Jews only need a
light jolt, a spiritual 'shot in
the arm' to stir their latent
spiritual sensitivities," the
spokesman said. "These
elegant reminders, which
include a local telephone
number for information and
assistance, may just be the
necessary motivating

NCSJ Sends

Matzah To Ukraine
New York — In response to
an emergency call from
Rabbi Ya'akov Bleich, an
American serving as chief
rabbi of the Ukraine, the
National Conference on
Soviet Jewry (NCSJ) last
week shipped to the Soviet
Union four tons of matzah
aboard a regularly schedul-
ed flight of Pan American
The airline shipped the
matzah at its lowest possible
cargo rate for distribution to
cities in the Ukraine facing
shortages of the unleavened
bread. Rabbi Bleich at-
tributed the shortage to

Chabad representatives with
Passover goods for Soviet Jews.

several factors, including a
dramatic increase in interest
in Passover observance and
the non-functioning of a
bakery attached to the
Kishinev Synagogue, which
in the past has supplied
some of the needs of the Jew-
ish population in the
The Jewish communities
of Lvov and Zhitomer will
each receive 1 ton of matzah,
while smaller amounts will
be distributed to Vinnitsa,
Berditchev, Chernovtsy and
other Ukrainian cities.
Chabad representatives, in
conjunction with El Al Israel
Airlines, also sent matzah,
wine and other Passover
goods to the Soviet Union.
EL AL shipped the goods on
a direct flight to Moscow.

Meanwhile, the World
Zionist Organization/Jewish
Agency for Israel reports
that 4,460 Soviet students
are enrolled in various post-
high school courses in Israel.
Of these, 55 percent are
Seventy-five percent of the
4,460 are enrolled at univer-
sities. Of these, 604 attend
the Technion, 516 are at Tel
Aviv University and 490 are
at Hebrew University in
Jerusalem. The rest are at-
tending Haifa University,
Ben Gurion University and
Bar Ilan.
Some 5 percent, about 22,
of the Soviet students are
enrolled in teachers' col-
leges. Another 110 are stu-
dying art and music, and 36
are studying at nursing
Six-hundred thirty-five
Soviet students are enrolled
at technological schools to
study subjects including
practical engineering and
laboratory science. Of these,
the majority are at the
Technological College in

Compiled by
Elizabeth Applebaum

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