News from Open Republic

2021/11/26

The Virtual Reconstruction of the Siegen Synagogue / Virtuelle Rekonstruktion der Siegener Synagoge

Outdoor Light and Sound Projection: The Virtual Reconstruction of the Siegen Synagogue

Projected in Siegen (Germany) on the exterior wall of the Bunker on November 9, 2021. The Siegen synagogue stood on this property from 1904 until 1939/40.

Presented by the Society for Christian-Jewish Cooperation Siegerland e.V. within the framework of the anniversary year „1700 Years of Jewish Life in Germany“.

May our love and memory overcome destruction and death.

2021/11/15

“Memorial” a global treasure

The Open Republic was among the signatories of an open letter against the Russian prosecutors’ decision to disband the international association “Memorial”. The letter, calling “Memorial” a global treasure, emphasizes its fundamental role in uncovering the truth about the mass murder of Polish officers in Katyn during the Second World War and other mass communist repressions. The letter also calls the “Memorial”, the conscience of contemporary Russia, and describes attempts to disband it as an act of political aggression.

2021/11/14

Official reports concerning the events in the city of Kalisz on 11 November 2021

The Open Republic has made two official reports concerning the events in the city of Kalisz on 11 November 2021. On that day, Wojciech Olszanski and Piotr Rybak exhorted the participants of an Independence Day rally in Market Square to commit a crime, espoused fascism and ethnic hatred. The Open Republic addressed one of the reports of a suspected crime to the local prosecutor’s office, and the other – considering the gravity of the matter – to the office of the Prosecutor General.

2021/11/09

The International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism

The International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism is marked on November 9 to commemorate the victims of Nazism and nationalist, racist and antisemitic terror.

On November 9, 1938, a series of Jewish pogroms, called Kristallnacht, was organized and carried out by the Nazis. Kristallnacht pogroms became the Third Reich’s first act of mass violence against Jews. On that day, the Nazis killed over 90 people, and according to other sources, up to 2,000 people. Between 3,500 and 30,000 Jews were seized and sent to concentration camps. From 300 to 1,500 synagogues were set on fire, while thousands of Jewish shops had their windows smashed, which gave rise to the name “Kristallnacht” or “Crystal Night.”

2021/11/08

Open letter from four winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature concerning the humanitarian disaster that is taking place on the eastern border of the European Union

Please find below an open letter from four winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature – Svetlana Alexievich, Elfriede Jelinek, Herta Müller and Olga Tokarczuk – addressed to the European Council and the European Parliament and concerning the humanitarian disaster that is taking place on the eastern border of the European Union (the border between Poland and Belarus). Please distribute it to the addressees.

To the President of the European Council Charles Michel
To the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli
To the Members of the European Parliament
The Polish government has introduced a state of emergency within the border zone between Poland and Belarus, on the strength of which no medical aid is being allowed in to help those who are sick and dying on the border, and blocks media access to the tragedy that is unfolding there. However, even the incomplete, fragmentary information that is coming through provides insight into the vast scale of the humanitarian disaster that is taking place on the border of the European Union: we know that the people there are being subjected to a merciless push-back procedure, condemning them to hypothermia, starvation and exhaustion in forests and marshes.
Belarusian travel agencies controlled by the Lukashenka regime are promising desperate people transit into the European Union in exchange for a high fee. Lured by this means to Minsk, they are then taken by organised transportation to the forests on the border. There an attempt is made to push them into Poland by force, while the Polish border guards and troops also use force to turn them back into Belarus. In the worst cases this ends in death. Some of the people who have died are known to us by name, others are dying anonymously.
2021/11/01

Paula Sawicka and Bart Staszewski about the parliamentary debate on anti-LGBT legislation

“Democracy is not about listening to everything that comes to somebody’s head”, said the Open Republic’s Paula Sawicka in a TVN24 television channel programme. She was commenting on the parliamentary debate on anti-LGBT legislation proposed by  Krzysztof Grzegorz Kaprzak on behalf of a “Life and Family” foundation. Another guest of the programme, an LGBT activist Bart Staszewski said: “It was horrible for me, and for any LGBT person, that they are all paedophiles, and that having been born gay, I am not better than the Nazis.”


“I disagree that democracy makes it our duty to hear ideas; Mr Kasprzak was kind enough to present. Everything he said was a lie and hate speech”, added Paula Sawicka. The parliamentary majority did not reject the proposed legislation in the first reading. The project was sent for further deliberations in a parliamentary committee.

2021/10/28

Virtual reconstruction of the Siegen synagogue

To commemorate the ,Reichspogromnacht‘ (the Night of Broken Glass), multimedia artist Gabriela von Seltmann and her international team virtually resurrect the Siegen synagogue. In an animated video and sound installation, the synagogue, which burned down on November 10, 1938, rises from the rubble and appears on the outer wall of the Hochbunker (Aktives Museum Südwestfalen) in its previous form. Thus, the center of the Siegerland Jewish community, inaugurated in 1904, returns to the collective memory of the city. Historical and contemporary recordings of synagogal chants accompany the two- and three-dimensional animation.

The premiere of the first virtual reconstruction of a synagogue in Germany is intended to recall, on a representative basis, the more than 1400 synagogues and prayer houses that were destroyed during the so-called Reichskristallnacht in November 1938. This unique event intends to evoke a variety of emotions and possibly memories in viewers, both those on-site and those worldwide watching via live broadcast on the Internet. For some viewers, the event will be their first-ever encounter with Jewish culture and Judaism.

This open-air program will also include the showing of the virtual reconstruction of the Great Synagogue of Warsaw, which premiered in Warsaw in 2018. This Great Synagogue reconstructions serves as a cross-border symbol of how death and destruction can be overcome through memory, reconciliation, and love.

More information
Event on Facebook

2021/10/06

From the European Union’s border with Belarus, October 6, 2021,

Poland has imposed a state of emergency along its border with Belarus, holding back small groups of men, women and children who are refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and other countries. They are without shelter, clean water, food, and access to medical help. This expulsion and simultaneous non-admission of refugees has triggered the xenophobic resentments and anti-humanitarian policies of Poland and Belarus. The police, army, and border guards prevent any humanitarian action.  Several refugees have died already.

We are publishing an appeal signed by well-known oppositional figures in Poland. We ask for help in disseminating this appeal as widely known as possible.

Please submit ur comments to: otwarta@otwarta.org

An Appeal

In keeping with the legacy of Marek Edelman, Jacek Kuron, and Irena Sendler, and endeavoring to live according to their example, we cannot remain silent while people are dying at the Polish border. We cannot remain silent while they are denied help by those who are obliged to provide it. We cannot remain silent while people of good will are prevented from saving and assisting others deprived of shelter and threatened by hunger, cold, sickness, and pain.  As we are helpless vis-a-vis the repulsive, inhumane immigration policy of the Polish authorities, we appeal for solidarity with an abused people whom they look upon with cruel insensitivity. We appeal to international public opinion, to people in culture, science, and business, and to politicians throughout the world whether in power or in the opposition, to exert unyielding pressure on the Polish authorities to stop this torture.

Witold BEREŚ,

Bogdan BIAŁEK,

Seweryn BLUMSZTAJN,

Teresa BOGUCKA,

Krzysztof BURNETKO,

Agnieszka HOLLAND,

Paula SAWICKA,

Andrzej SEWERYN

________________________

Apel

Wierni dziedzictwu Marka Edelmana, Jacka Kuronia, Ireny Sendlerowej, w życiu starając się podążać za ich przykładem, nie możemy milczeć, gdy na polskiej granicy umierają ludzie. Nie możemy milczeć, gdy nie udzielają im pomocy zobowiązane do tego służby. Nie możemy milczeć, gdy ludziom dobrej woli udaremnia się ratowanie i wspieranie ludzi pozbawionych dachu nad głową, narażonych na głód, chłód, choroby i cierpienie. Bezradni wobec odrażającej, nieludzkiej polityki imigracyjnej polskich władz apelujemy o solidarność z ludźmi poniżanymi, traktowanymi okrutnie i bezdusznie. Apelujemy do międzynarodowej opinii publicznej, do ludzi kultury, nauki, biznesu, do polityków u władzy i w opozycji na całym świecie o nieustępliwe wywieranie presji na polskie władze, by zaprzestały tortur.

Witold BEREŚ

Bogdan BIAŁEK,

Seweryn BLUMSZTAJN,

Teresa BOGUCKA,

Krzysztof BURNETKO,

Agnieszka HOLLAND,

Paula SAWICKA,

Andrzej SEWERYN

________________________

A la frontière entre l’Union Européenne et la Biélorussie, le 6 octobre 2021

Appel

En gardant dans nos cœurs le souvenir d’Irena Sendler, de Marek Edelman, de Jacek Kuroń, nous avons toujours suivi leur exemple et leur héritage moral. Aujourd’hui, nous ne pouvons pas rester silencieux quand des gens meurent à la frontière polonaise.

Nous ne pouvons pas nous taire quand des soldats, qui devraient les aider, restent sans agir.

Nous ne pouvons pas nous taire quand les gens de bonne volonté sont empêchés de porter secours et de sauver des réfugiés, qui subissent la faim, le froid, les maladies et la misère.

Impuissants  face à la politique d’immigration inhumaine et odieuse des autorités polonaises, nous ne pouvons qu’appeler à la solidarité avec les gens qui sont humiliés et traités avec cruauté.

Nous nous adressons à l’opinion publique internationale, aux artistes, aux  scientifiques, aux hommes d’affaires, aux hommes politiques, ceux au pouvoir et ceux dans l’opposition, partout dans le monde, en appelant à exercer une pression constante et efficace sur le gouvernement polonais pour que cessent les tortures à la frontière avec la Biélorussie.

Witold BEREŚ

Bogdan BIAŁEK

Seweryn BLUMSZTAJN

Teresa BOGUCKA

Krzysztof BURNETKO

Agnieszka HOLLAND

Paula SAWICKA

Andrzej SEWERYN

________________________

An der Grenze zwischen der Europäischen Union und Belarus.

6. Oktober 2021

Aufruf

Im Angedenken von Marek Edelman, Jacek Kuroń und Irena Sendler folgen wir ihrem Beispiel und Vermächtnis und können nicht schweigen, wenn Menschen an der polnischen Grenze sterben. Wir dürfen nicht schweigen, wenn die Einsatzkräfte, die ihnen helfen sollten, dies nicht tun. Wir dürfen nicht schweigen, wenn Menschen guten Willens daran gehindert werden, Flüchtende zu retten und zu unterstützen, Menschen, die kein Dach über dem Kopf haben, die Hunger, Kälte, Krankheit und Leid ausgesetzt sind. Wir stehen der abscheulichen und unmenschlichen Einwanderungspolitik der polnischen Behörden hilflos gegenüber und rufen zur Solidarität mit den Menschen auf, die gedemütigt und grausam und herzlos behandelt werden. Wir appellieren an die internationale Öffentlichkeit, an Kulturschaffende, Wissenschaftler, Geschäftsleute, Politiker an der Macht, und in der Opposition, in der ganzen Welt, unablässig Druck auf die polnischen Behörden auszuüben, damit diese mit der Folter an der polnischen Grenze aufhören.

Witold BEREŚ

Bogdan BIAŁEK,

Seweryn BLUMSZTAJN,

Teresa BOGUCKA,

Krzysztof BURNETKO,

Agnieszka HOLLAND,

Paula SAWICKA,

Andrzej SEWERYN