Statement made by the Chair of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland
November 16, 2021

Statement made by TSKŻ Chair, Mr Artur Hofman in reference to the events which occurred in Kalisz  on 11th November 2021

                   Warsaw, 15th November 2021

A week ago i.e. on 8th November 2021 I had an opportunity to deliver my presentation at a conference hosted by the European Jewish Association (EJA). I proudly stated that our comprehensive social and cultural activity was warmly welcomed by the Polish society. I also emphasised the fact that Poland, unlike some other countries, was definitely a place where we could feel secure. I also easy for us to host argued that  due to the fact that Poland was such a friendly country, it would be a great venue for similar symposia, events and celebrations in the future, much better than someplace else in Europe. My convictions were shared by members of various Jewish organisations, parliamentarians and journalists from all over Europe who gathered at the conference.

However, only three days later i.e. on 11th November in Kalisz we witnessed a horrible festival of antisemitism. Hundreds of people chanted the phrase: “Death to Jews!”. The rally participants shouted out slogans which praised the antisemitic campaign of 1968. They demanded that Jews were either expelled from Poland or killed. So I just wonder whether just a week after my lecture at the EJA Conference in Cracow, I might still call Poland a friendly and safe place for Jews?

 Yet, I still would like to hope that this time the law-enforcement authorities in Poland will react differently than they a few years ago, when the Prosecutor’s Office in Wrocław appealed for the mitigation of a penalty for the offender who had publicly burnt down a Jewish effigy.

Artur Hofman

Chair of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland

EJA Delegation to Auschwitz 2021