Anti-Semitism as a tool for communist regimes

    4 July 2016, Kielce, Poland

    The year 2016 marked the 70th anniversary of the Kielce Pogrom – the deadliest outbreak of violence against Jews in Poland after the Second World War.

    The event was incited by a false claim that a Polish boy called Henryk Błaszczyk had been kidnapped by Jews. Soldiers accompanied by local residents surrounded a building of the local Jewish Committee on 7 Planty Street, killing and violently beating those found inside after hearing a shot being fired by an unidentified person. By day's end, 42 Jews had been killed and 40 more injured. In the aftermath of the pogrom, 39 people were put on trial, nine of which were later sentenced to death. The event sparked fear among Jewish community, prompting the first mass flight of Jews from Poland after the war.

    To mark the anniversary, an event dedicated to the Kielce Pogrom was held in Kielce on 4 July 2016. ENRS was represented by Prof. Jan Rydel, chairman of the Steering Committee of ENRS.

    Programme of the event

    70th anniversary of the tragic events of 4 July 1946

    9:00 – 11:00 a.m. Debate: Anti-Semitism as a tool of the communist regime. Questions, hypotheses, interpretations

    Participants:

    Gennady Estraikh, New York University
    Hubertus Knabe, Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial
    András Kovács, Central European University
    Szewach Weiss, the Yad Vashem Council
    Chair: Jan Rydel, European Network Remembrance and Solidarity

    English translation will be provided.

    Venue: Dom Środowisk Twórczych, Pałac T. Zielińskiego, 5 Zamkowa Street

    12:00 p.m. Wreath-laying ceremony with the representatives of Polish government at 7/9 Planty Street

    2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Debate: Researchers on the events of 4 July 1946 in Kielce. Questions, hypotheses, interpretations accompanied by screening of the documentary Henio by Andrzej Miłosz and Piotr Weychert

    Participants:

    Grzegorz Berendt, Institute of National Remembrance, Detachment in Gdańsk
    Bożena Szaynok, University of Wrocław
    Ryszard Śmietanka-Kruszelnicki, Institute of National Remembrance, Detachment in Kielce
    Chair: Dorota Koczwańska-Kalita, Institute of National Remembrance, Detachment in Kielce

    English translation will be provided.

    Venue: Dom Środowisk Twórczych, Pałac T. Zielińskiego, 5 Zamkowa Street  

     

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