A seminar devoted to the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was organized at the European Parliament in Brussels. Its element is the opening of an exhibition commemorating the heroic uprising. The Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Piotr Gliński, said that “Warsaw is a city of two uprisings”, and this proves “how strong is the Polish imperative in the pursuit of freedom”.
– The history of Poland abounds in beautiful and glorious events, but also many very difficult, complex and full of suffering moments. Many of them have happened since Poland lost its sovereignty, when in 1795 our country disappeared from the map of the world for 123 years, brutally divided by the partitioning powers. During these years, Poles have repeatedly tried to throw off the yoke of possession and fight for independence. The armed struggle for an independent state has become the experience of many generations of our national community coming from various ethnic, cultural and social groups – said Gliński during his speech.
A city of two uprisings
– During World War II, Poland was occupied again. This time German and Soviet. At that time, despite huge repressions, constant threat and fear, two uprisings broke out in Warsaw. The uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto, the 80th anniversary of which we are celebrating, is the first urban uprising and at the same time the largest uprising of the Jewish population during the German occupation. Another was the 63-day Warsaw Uprising of 1944, he said. – Warsaw is therefore a city of two uprisings. This proves how strong the Polish imperative is in the pursuit of freedom, stressed the Deputy Prime Minister.
He pointed out that incidents of racial hatred still occur today. – However, it is worth emphasizing that in Poland they are individual and usually take the form of thoughtless acts of vandalism. These acts are always condemned both at the state (…) and social level – he added. – In Poland there is no consent and no place for anti-Semitism. Jews in Poland can feel safe. (…) Annually, 150 anti-Semitic incidents are recorded in Poland. At the same time, for example, in Germany there are 15 times as many. Anti-Semitism should be combated in all its forms, appealed Piotr Gliński.
“They died with the will to fight”
The former head of Polish diplomacy, and now PiS MEP Anna Fotyga, pointed out that the ghetto uprising is part of the history of the Polish state. – On this occasion I recall the words of the late Mr. President Lech Kaczyński that the arguments in the modern world are not evenly distributed. Those who fight for freedom are right. There is no doubt that the insurgents from the ghetto (…) died with the will to fight, they died with dignity, with weapons in their hands, showing the whole world that they did not agree to German, Nazi crimes against the Jewish nation during World War II. But they also fought on behalf of Poland. From the first to the last day, Poland showed this resistance – summarized the co-organizer of the conference.
Adam Bielan emphasized that the uprising in the ghetto “was a sign of hope for the world that the Jews would not go silently into the night.” – They will fight for survival and for the values that make us human. This is a testament of strength, which is solidarity and community, concluded the PiS MEP.
Main photo source: IPN