Polish Jews commemorate anti-Semitic campaign of 1968

WARSAW (JTA) — Polish Jews held a ceremony commemorating the anti-Semitic campaign of March 1968, when Polish authorities forced several thousand Jews who survived the Holocaust to leave the country.

Golda Tencer, director of the Jewish Theatre in Warsaw, and the Shalom Foundation, organized the ceremony on Wednesday.

“Our parents, after the experiences of war, a dozen years later, experienced a second exodus,” Tencer said. “For me, this station was a symbol of all stations, from where Jews were leaving. They threw us away, but no one could break up our friendship.”

Michal Sobelman, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw whose family left Poland in 1969, said that year was a symbol of the end of the thousand-year history of Polish Jewry.

“Although it’s been 50 years, the Polish government did not do one thing. The citizenship, brutally taken away from Jews living in their country here, has never been given back. It seems to me that the time has come to do this, “said Sobelman.

The Shalom Foundation has for several years organized events on the anniversary of the expulsion in 1968. Nine years ago, Polish president Lech Kaczynski took part in an event and promised to restore citizenship to the expelled Polish Jews.

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