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Krakow church holds service against 'kikes who spit on us'
WARSAW - This was not a pogrom, but it was close. Sunday's incident in Krakow at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was rife with overtones of hatred. "The Jews are attacking us! We need to defend ourselves," shouted Prof. Bogoslav Wolniewicz, to stormy applause.
About 1,000 people gathered for special services Sunday at the church, organized by the Committee Against Defamation of the Church and For Polishness, along with the anti-Semitic Radio Maryja. Local residents were informed of the service by posters that proclaimed: "The kikes will not continue to spit on us."
The huge church was packed. People sat on the stairs and stood in the aisles. The service opened, as usual, with prayer and song, but after about half an hour, the 91-year-old bishop of Krakow, Albin Malysiak, began inflaming the crowd with his sermon.
"A man who does not love his homeland, but some sort of international entity, apparently also does not love his nearest and dearest," he said.
Afterward, Radio Maryja staffers ascended the dais, headed by Jerzy Robert Nowak, the station's expert on Jewish affairs. He spoke about the new and controversial book by Jan Gross, "Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz." Nowak, who was less ambiguous than the bishop, said to applause from the crowd: "It's important that we carry our fight to its conclusion, because Gross and his supporters are marginal, and we will not permit anyone to punish Poland. Leave us in peace. Leave us alone."
The speakers directed their anger at Gross, at Jews in general, at Jews from Brooklyn in particular, at Poles who are willing to sell them anything for money, at Righteous Among the Nations Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, at a minister in the Prime Minister's Office responsible for Jewish-Polish affairs; and at the newspaper that, in their eyes, represents the Polish left, Gazeta Wyborcza, and its editor, Adam Michnik.
There were questions from the audience at the end, mostly of the "how do we defend ourselves against attacks on the church and on Poland" variety. "The best thing is to get organized," Nowak responded.
In a country that allows a radio station to daily broacast anti jewish stories and allow the owner to freely walk the streets flaunting his massive wealth, this is no suprise at all.
I've never heard a Polish version of "kike". Anyone know what that is?
“I've never heard a Polish version of "kike". Anyone know what that is?”
This is a situation of reciprocally inflammatory discourse with both sides exaggerating the foolishness of the other and then responding to the provoked reaction.
I too wondered what was transposed into “kike”. The original poster used “zydki” which is one of the many diminutives that Slavic can devolve out of “zyd”. It is not inherently offensive but it is at least patronizing and in the given context it was certainly dismissive. As such it was not used neutrally. It did not rise to the pejorative level of “kike” but it was not meant to be polite.
So unfortunately there will now be a response from the other side and the whole issue will escalate without any discourse as to anything which may be a real issue.
One can surmise that for ignorant bigots to thrive they need a mirror image bigot to play off of.
Yes it's quite bizarre that this should happen in modern day Poland.
Zyd is the word for Jew in Poland - at least I don't know any other. As Slepo has said, zydki is not equivalent to kikes, but of course using that term creates more sensationalist headlines.
Semantics aside, such an incident as this is unacceptable in a catholic church anywhere in the world. If such bigots want to have a public meeting to discuss their racist views they should not take the church into the gutter with them. I'm sure such meetings take place all over the world, but I'm disgusted that the church is involved. When are they going to close that radio station down?
Is this church in krakow or warsaw?
"- Kościoły, które przeznaczone są do spraw kultu i modlitwy, nie powinny stawać się miejscem wieców ani agitacji do wstępowania do takich czy innych organizacji - mówił rzecznik kurii krakowskiej ks. Robert Nęcek."
above is gazeta wyborcza quoting Father Robert Necek who deals with publicity on behalf of the archdiocese of Krakow. He's basically saying that churches are a place for prayer and should not become places for this or any other organisation to stir up congregations in order to gain new members.
The 91 year old bishop who attended the above is retired (since 1993) and the current bishop of krakow is Stanislaw Dziwisz who used to be secretary to the late Pope.
I'd imagine that the church will now distance itself from radio maryja. The internet is full of pages in Polish about this bizarre event so there will doubtless be pressure within the church Poland to nip this in the bud much as there has been pressure here by the synod to nip the sharia law fiasco in the bud.
Politics and religion are a potent mix and the only person who recently managed to pull this mix off in Poland without disaster was JPII. He will doubtless be turning in his grave right now.
It all seems to have been stirred up by Gross's book. Unfortunately this sort of publication stirs up strong emotion in many Poles who see it as an attack on Poland's integrity as well as a personal attack on them. They are soft and easy victims for this type of literary assault. Russia, where brutal violence and abuse of Jews continues to this day and was historically probably worse than anywhere in Europe in its time, would not bother to take such publications seriously or personally and therefore Russia is not picked on all the time. If anything its brutal history is seen through some sort of romantic and sentimental haze. Of course there is still a media fear of offending Russia so if anything like this did appear it would be toned down.
Psychology of nations..interesting topic
Update on story:
ADL Calls On Polish Catholic Church To Denounce Anti-Semitic Meeting In Krakow
New York, NY, February 13, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the Polish Catholic Church to denounce "in the strongest terms" an anti-Semitic meeting reportedly held in a Krakow church and to take steps to ensure that churches will be made "off-limits to hate."
About 1,000 people reportedly attended the February 9 meeting at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was convened by Radio Maryja and the Committee Against Defamation of the Church and For Polishness. The meeting, widely reported by the Polish press, allegedly was publicized with posters that declared, "The Kikes will not continue to spit on us!" and featured virulently anti-Semitic speeches.
"We were deeply disturbed by reports that an anti-Semitic meeting was held in a Krakow church," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, a Holocaust survivor who was born in Poland. "Such sentiments are a troubling reminder that anti-Semitism is alive and well in Poland, and that the memory and lessons of the Holocaust, while still fresh for survivors of the war, is fading for ordinary Poles."
At the Krakow meeting, virulent anti-Semitism reportedly was the order of the day. A man identified in news reports as Professor Bogoslav Wolniewicz reportedly told the gathering: "The Jews are attacking us! We need to defend ourselves!" Radio Maryja, one of the meeting's organizers, is a right-wing Polish Catholic station that has a history of anti-Semitic broadcasts.
In a letter to Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, Archbishop of Krakow, ADL called on the local archdiocese and the Polish Bishops conference to speak out. "One of the great lessons the world learned from Pope John Paul II is that ignorance and bias are never remedied unless all of us are willing to challenge them at every turn," wrote Mr. Foxman. "We ask Your Eminence and the Polish Bishops Conference to publicly denounce these words and this group in the strongest terms, and to take steps to ensure such gatherings never again take place in the holy space of a church."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
I don't think it's the ADL's place to tell the Catholic church what to do about this. It is an internal matter what churches are used for and I am sure the church will sort it out without reference to or advice from external organisations which have nothing to do with the church. The Krakow diocese has already stated that this is not what churches are there for and doubtless this situation has caused feathers to fly in the vatican. As has been demonstrated in the past with the paedophilia scandals, the catholic church works in its own way to resolve such issues and does not take kindly to being ordered about. I'm hoping the vatican will get involved this time as it's about time someone nipped all this in the bud.
Poland's first female rabbi hopes to 'bring Jewish life'
LUBLIN, Poland — Rabbi Tanya Segal wraps a fringed prayer shawl around her shoulders, perches a guitar on crossed legs and leads a group of Poles in songs celebrating the Jewish sabbath.
In this city once known as Poland's Jerusalem, where the rabbis of prewar Poland were men wearing black coats and hats, long beards and sidelocks, Segal cuts a distinctive figure.
A Russian-born Israeli with long fiery red hair, she is the first full-time female rabbi in Poland. Her arrival in December in a land where Jewish life was all but wiped out in the Holocaust is a testament to the unabated revival of that life now — and a new diversity taking root amid the growth of the community.
Segal, a youthful and energetic 50-year-old, lives in Warsaw but travels frequently around Poland, guitar in tow, on a mission to bring Jewish traditions to corners of the country of 38 million where large Yiddish-speaking communities thrived for centuries until World War II.
"It's really a challenge," Segal said after leading a Shabbat service on a recent Friday night in a spacious room nestled above Grodzka Gate, an arched passageway that separated Lublin's Christian and Jewish quarters.
No trial against Jan Tomasz Gross
Polish-American historian Jan Tomasz Gross will not face trial in Poland for his book "Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz" about anti-Semitism in Poland after World War II. Grzegorz Pawelczyk welcomes the decision of the public prosecutor's office in Cracow to drop the charges of slandering the Polish nation and incitement of the people. "We will thus avoid a trial that - regardless of the outcome - would have compromised Poland in the eyes of the world. Bringing charges against [the authors of ] books or press articles is anyway absurd. All cases of this kind, other than those concerned with false information, violate a fundamental principle of democracy, namely, freedom of speech. A further problem in Poland is that many judges either do not understand what freedom of speech means or have no idea how a publishing house works."
"A further problem in Poland is that many judges either do not understand what freedom of speech means or have no idea how a publishing house works."
The UK doesn't either.
It is regularly used as a destination for libel tourism by rich Arabs and others who want to suppress books.
It's just that Brits are not told about it. Americans are.
Leszek Bubel, former MP and presidential candidate has posted an anti-Semitic video on YouTube
The head of an extreme-right National Polish Party has posted a video on YouTube in which he says he is a "proud anti-Semite."
Leszek Bubel states in the four-and-a-half-minute video, "We used to have a Jew on every rooftop but we got rid of them. Jews, Poland is not your country; get out and leave us be."
Bubel's video is viewed by some in Poland as a reaction to a widely discussed book by Polish-American historian Jan Tomasz Gross, whose father was Jewish. The Gross book "Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz" released in the U.S. in 2006 and last month in Polish, posits that Poland society was consumed with hatred towards Jews even after the Holocaust, resulting in pogroms right after World War II.
Bubel is known for publishing anti-Semitic tracts and has been prosecuted but never convicted under Poland's anti-racism laws. His party has never held seats in the Parliament.
Search for the video using "Longinus Zerwimycka"
I'm sure there are plenty like leszek bubel, but surely this thread is about the catholic church's involvement and not about individual prejudices?
Two separate issues.
Look the same sort of subject to me - hatred of Jews.
It is specifically about the church in Poland allowing an anti semitic event to happen in its building Angela. That's why the title starts "krakow church holds service" and that's why the thread was interesting. Polish/Jewish relations in general have already been discussed on the western liberals/auschwitz thread and it would be very dull to start duplicating it all again here. New subjects should have new threads.