News from Open Republic

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

2021/08/18

Statement of Professors Engelking i Grabowski

Statement

The Warsaw Appellate Court rejected today the lawsuit filed against us by Mrs. Filomena Leszczynska. The Court of Appeals upheld the arguments raised by us in our appeal and roundly rejected the verdict of the Warsaw District Court. We greet the verdict with great joy and satisfaction – even more because this decision has a direct impact on all Polish scholars, and especially on historians of the Holocaust. We are deeply grateful to our attorneys, Mr. Michal Jablonski and Dr. Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias, who agreed to represent us. We are also indebted to all those who gave us their support over the last two difficult years.

Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski

 

2021/07/22

European Day for the Victims of Hate Crime

22 July marks the European Day for Victims of Hate Crime. Established by the Council of Europe’s “No Hate Speech Movement” it commemorates the 77 young victims of Anders Breivik’s 2011 attack on Utøya island near Oslo.

2021/07/22

Anniversary of the beginning of the great liquidation action of the Warsaw ghetto

On July 22, 1942, the Germans began deporting the inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka. The brutal liquidation action that lasted nearly two months resulted in the death of over 300,000 Jews. During the ninth March of Remembrance we will especially commemorate Adam Czerniaków – the educator, social activist and journalist, city councilor of Warsaw, senator of the Second Polish Republic. In the Warsaw ghetto, he was the president of the Judenrat (Jewish Council). On July 23, the day after the ‘resettlement’ began, Adam Czerniaków committed suicide, which was an expression of protest and helplessness against the deportation of the ghetto inhabitants, especially small orphans.

2021/07/10

Anniversary of pogrom in Jedwabne

On 10 July 1941, soon after the Soviet forces’ withdrawal and after the German troops entered the North-East Polish town of Jedwabne, the local Polish people began to gather the Jews from the town and the surrounding area in the town square. The Jews were publicly humiliated, and several were killed. A few dozens, including the rabbi Avigdor Bialostocki, were then selected to destroy a Lenin’s monument nearby. The group was then led to an earlier prepared mass grave in a barn where they were murdered and buried together with the Lenin’s bust. The remaining several hundred Jews were led to the same barn. They were doused with diesel before the barn was locked and set on fire. The mass murder was committed by several dozens of local people with many more witnessing it. The German forces in town didn’t take an active part in the pogrom, but they have most likely encouraged it in the spirit of Reinhardt Heydrich’s doctrine about encouraging local populations to take part in pogroms.