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International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 28 Jewish organizations in Poland call for the fight against anti-Semitism

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28 Polish Jewish organizations operating in Poland spoke out about the increasingly visible and tolerated anti-Semitism in public life. On Thursday, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the organizations published a joint statement in which they expressed their support for the Working Definition of Antisemitism.

Signatories – 28 Jewish organizations – call for social and political involvement in counteracting anti-Semitism, as well as denial and distortion The Holocaust. They believe that only through decisive action will future generations understand the causes of the Holocaust and will be able to reflect on its consequences and oppose anti-Semitic ideologies.


– Watching the worldwide increase in hate speech and motivated crimes anti-Semitismwe felt the need to include a working definition of anti-Semitism in the public discourse, said the initiator of the action, Piotr Kwapisiewicz, president of the Jewish Association Czulent.

– Analyzing the examples of implementation of the definition to date, we notice that the more often it is used, the greater its effectiveness. Therefore, when considering the implementation of the IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – ed.), It is worth looking at the multifaceted potential of this tool, supporting both educational activities and processes identifying anti-Semitism, as well as mechanisms supporting anti-Semitism strategies and policies in both organizations and organizations. institutions, public administration – added Piotr Kwapisiewicz.

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Statement by 28 Jewish organizations on anti-Semitism

The statement drew attention to the Independence Day celebrations that took place in Kalisz. “As part of the celebration of such an important holiday, the text of the Statute of Kalisz was burned of 1264, granting the rights of the Jewish community, ensuring their safety and religious freedom, “the recalled.

Public promotion of hatred against the Jewish community in Poland shows how important it is to counteract anti-Semitism “, he added, pointing out that this is the reason why the Jewish organizations in Poland signed under the declaration express their support for a legally non-binding working definition of anti-Semitism by the International Alliance for Remembrance for Holocaust (IHRA):

Anti-Semitism is a specific perception of Jews that can express itself as hatred towards them. Antisemitism manifests itself in both words and deeds against Jews or non-Jews and their property, and against the institutions and religious objects of the Jewish community.


Dr. Sebastian Rejak, acting director of the American Jewish Committee Central Europe emphasized that “anti-Semitism is a global phenomenon that has been known to Western culture for over two millennia.” – However, actions aimed at eliminating or at least limiting this phenomenon must be taken locally, responding to its actual manifestations in a given country, in a given community – he added.

Holocaust Remembrance Day in ŁódźPAP / Roman Zawistowski

– The responsibility for this lies with many actors, from the government and parliament to local government institutions, schools and NGOs. This synergy is a must – emphasized Dr. Sebastian Rejak.

Contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism

According to the signatories of the statement, contemporary manifestations of anti-Semitism in public life may include, inter alia, “inciting to kill or harm Jews in the name of radical ideology or extremist religious views, assisting in such acts or justifying them” or “formulating lies, denying humanity, demonizing or stereotypical opinions about Jews or their collective power, especially, but not limited to, the myth of an international Jewish conspiracy or of Jewish control of the media, economy, government, or other social institutions. “

– Contemporary anti-Semitism in Central Europe promotes hatred not only towards Jews, but also towards members of society supporting pluralism and multiculturalism – said Anna Zielińska, a board member of the Czulent Jewish Association. – Anti-Semitism becomes a substitute, blaming Jews, but most of all people considered to be Jews, for every failure and for any political, economic or social crisis – she added.

Anna Zielińska emphasized that research shows that in the Visegrad Group countries, far-right circles in their rhetoric are based on anti-Zionism and conspiracy theories, and also attack the memory of the Holocaust. – Come on, it seems impossible, the denial and downplay of the Holocaust is present in the public discourse – she said.

The signatories of the statement are: American Jewish Committee Central Europe, Center for Jewish Community – JCC Warsaw, Center for Jewish Community in Krakow, Fundacja im. Prof. Mojżesza Schorr, Hillel Polska Foundation, Puszke Foundation, Maccabi Warsaw, Michael Schudrich – Chief Rabbi of Poland, “Children of the Holocaust” Association, FestivALT Association, Association of the Jewish Historical Institute, Association of Jewish Combatants, Social and Cultural Society of Jews in Poland, Board of the Association of Religious Communities Jewish Communities in the Republic of Poland on behalf of the Jewish Religious Communities in Bielsko-Biała, Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Legnica, Łódź, Poznań, Szczecin, Warsaw and Wrocław, the Union of Progressive Jewish Communities “Beit Polska”, the Lauder-Morasha School Complex, the Jewish B Association ‘nai B’rith in the Republic of Poland and the Jewish Association Czulent.

Main photo source: PAP / Roman Zawistowski

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