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Kresy Siberia Polish Jewish function in Melbourne

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  • Lucyna Artymiuk
    On Sunday Kresy Siberia Australia in conjunction with the Australian Society of Polish Jewish and their Descendants had a function at the Holocaust Museum In
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 28, 2011
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      On Sunday Kresy Siberia Australia in conjunction with the Australian Society
      of Polish Jewish and their Descendants had a function at the Holocaust
      Museum In Melbourne.



      The greatest number of Polish Jews in Australia is in Melbourne and most of
      the Jewish community structures are run by descendants of Polish Jews.



      The aim of the function was twofold

      To make the Jewish community aware of the Sibirak historical narrative of
      World War II - as their the greater awareness of the Holocaust but limited
      knowledge of the deportations and Siberian experience - however there are
      Jewish Sibiraks are present throughout the community

      To present that there are commonalities between the Polish Jewish and non
      Jewish communities - whereas in more cases we always focus on the
      differences



      Whereas the idea was initiated by Kresy Siberia - the Society of Polish
      Jews enthusiastically took on organising most aspects - invitations,
      (RSVPs), graphic work, and other aspects.



      The centre of Polish Jewish focus in Melbourne is the Holocaust Centre -
      most of the Holocaust survivors are volunteers there. And given we wanted
      the narratives this be inclusive - so this was the ideal place for the
      event.



      We didn't know what sort of response we would get. Around 150 people came -
      survivors their families - Jewish, non jewish - but predominantly Jewish.
      Also Holocaust survivors came to hear this other war narrative.



      The education part of the evening was the Forgotten Odyssey followed by a
      panel discussion (Polish Jewish) of survivors and 2nd generation. This
      included our Stefan, Zosia Skarbek (President of the Melbourne Sibiraks) and
      Krysia (second generation Polish Jewish)



      Master of Ceremonies was VP of the Polish Jewish Society - Izi Marmur whose
      family hails from the Kresy.



      Followed by intro by Krzysztof Lancucki - President of the Polish Community
      Council of Victoria - himself a child Sibirak.



      Then our Louise Blazejowska initroed the Forgotten Odyssey



      After the film - the MC asked the Sibirak Survivors to stand up and identify
      themselves - about 15 people did - a handful of them not Jewish while the
      remainder were jewish. This was poignant and for some this was the first
      time their experience was ever acknowledged. They received wide applause.
      It was very emotional.



      The panel presentation was lead in by an acadmic (Sovietologist) from Melb
      Uni - Dr Stephen Wheatcroft.



      The panel presentation were interesting in their differences.



      Zosia retold her experiences through Kazakstan then life in refugee camps.



      Stefan focused on maintenance and discovery of Memory.



      Krysia Kinst - both parents Sibiraks who didn't get out until after the war
      - retold the different perspectives of the experience of both parents. She
      also noted that the Sibirak experience even though it was bad still saved
      her parents from certain death under the Germans



      Then there were questions and often statements from the audience. One of
      the most emotional ones was from a frail lady who despite promting from the
      MC insisted in speaking in Polish - saying that watching the film she saw
      her life. The highlight of what she said was that she knew our Stefan's
      father back in Palestine. Amazing



      The finish to the evening was a speech by Daniel Gromann, Consul General for
      Poland - who spoke about the current view of History in Poland.



      The Honorary Consul - Dr Luk Kozika was also present.



      Afterwards all the attendees sought out presenters - talked with each other
      - wanted more information.



      There were many second gen Polish Jewish sibiraks - who knew so little about
      their parents experience and all of this was neew.



      During the Q&A section of the evening there was discussion about Polish
      Jewish people in the military



      I then mentioned that I am involved in the Polish Squadrons yahoo group and
      that we had Polish Jews in our membership



      After the event a lady came to me and expressed her gratitude as her cousin
      was such a person.



      704949 Rozental Henryk
      24.05.1924 kpr. / F/Sgt Strzelec
      pok´┐Żadowy

      brak dalszych informacji



      He returned to Poland - settled in Lodz then moved to Warsaw where he died a
      few years ago



      One popular thing was a table in the foyer exhibiting books on the Sibirak
      experience. Queries were referred to me. There were a dozen or so people
      wanting to buy the books - but I told them they were my private collection.
      They noted the titles and were going to order the books.



      There were other interesting people such as a young Austrian student on
      placement at the Centre - studying the Holocaust and came (encouraged by
      Survivors) out of sheer interest.



      I loved watching Moshe Fiszman, a holocaust survivor from Radom, reciting
      long verses of Mickiewicz, going into rapture about the quality of the
      poetry and scolding our Stefan for not knowing the poetry.





      It was a wonderful evening - both organisations made new friends in the
      respective communities. The Sibirak Association was overjoyed because of
      the high focus on their experience.



      We also identified survivors for interviews.



      It was a fantastic evening and I am still walk on a high.



      Lucyna





      PS before the function - representatives of both organisations met with
      Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich who happened to be in Melbourne for
      a bar mitzvah. It wwas wonderful to show to him that the two communities in
      the ddiasporra can work together.













      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Stefan
      Lucyna - thanks for posting this comprehensive report on the joint Polish-Jewish event in Melbourne, and thanks for also posting 117 photos from the event in
      Message 2 of 4 , Mar 1, 2011
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        Lucyna - thanks for posting this comprehensive report on the joint Polish-Jewish event in Melbourne, and thanks for also posting 117 photos from the event in your second message at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kresy-Siberia/message/43191

        It was a pleasure to come down to Melbourne and participate in this event. It was great to meet local Kresy-Siberia group member - Michael Czajka - there and great to see so many Sybiraks/ Survivors able to come - all Polish citizens and from both ethnic/religious communities.

        Thanks to Louise Blazejowska for bringing the colourful rollup banner down from Sydney to highlight the Kresy-Siberia Group (check out the photos), and for introducing the 17-minute abridged version of "A Forgotten Odyssey" that Aneta Naszynska created for the Kresy-Siberia Virtual Museum, and for doing so in such a moving and personal way.

        Special thanks to Lucyna Artymiuk for organising this event for us, for putting Louise and me up for the night at her house and driving us around, and for the jars of home-made jam!

        Finally, I hope that we can repeat this event in other cities and other countries - it is a simple format: the film is a terrific intro to the story and at 17 minutes gets the history across without tiring anyone out. Then some Survivors and members of Kresy-Siberia on a panel broiefly introduce their and their families stories and answer questions. Finally, representatives of local Polonia and the Polish diplomatic corps round out the evening.

        If anyone is interested, please get in touch with us at kresy-siberia-owner@yahoogroups.com and we can help with any planning, publicity and presentation materials - now that we have done one of these it is so much easier to do the next ones.

        Regards
        Stefan Wisniowski
        SYDNEY


        --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "Lucyna Artymiuk" <lucynaartymiuk@...> wrote:
        >
        > On Sunday Kresy Siberia Australia in conjunction with the Australian Society
        > of Polish Jewish and their Descendants had a function at the Holocaust
        > Museum In Melbourne.
        >
        >
        >
        > The greatest number of Polish Jews in Australia is in Melbourne and most of
        > the Jewish community structures are run by descendants of Polish Jews.
        >
        >
        >
        > The aim of the function was twofold
        >
        > To make the Jewish community aware of the Sibirak historical narrative of
        > World War II - as their the greater awareness of the Holocaust but limited
        > knowledge of the deportations and Siberian experience - however there are
        > Jewish Sibiraks are present throughout the community
        >
        > To present that there are commonalities between the Polish Jewish and non
        > Jewish communities - whereas in more cases we always focus on the
        > differences
        >
        >
        >
        > Whereas the idea was initiated by Kresy Siberia - the Society of Polish
        > Jews enthusiastically took on organising most aspects - invitations,
        > (RSVPs), graphic work, and other aspects.
        >
        >
        >
        > The centre of Polish Jewish focus in Melbourne is the Holocaust Centre -
        > most of the Holocaust survivors are volunteers there. And given we wanted
        > the narratives this be inclusive - so this was the ideal place for the
        > event.
        >
        >
        >
        > We didn't know what sort of response we would get. Around 150 people came -
        > survivors their families - Jewish, non jewish - but predominantly Jewish.
        > Also Holocaust survivors came to hear this other war narrative.
        >
        >
        >
        > The education part of the evening was the Forgotten Odyssey followed by a
        > panel discussion (Polish Jewish) of survivors and 2nd generation. This
        > included our Stefan, Zosia Skarbek (President of the Melbourne Sibiraks) and
        > Krysia (second generation Polish Jewish)
        >
        >
        >
        > Master of Ceremonies was VP of the Polish Jewish Society - Izi Marmur whose
        > family hails from the Kresy.
        >
        >
        >
        > Followed by intro by Krzysztof Lancucki - President of the Polish Community
        > Council of Victoria - himself a child Sibirak.
        >
        >
        >
        > Then our Louise Blazejowska initroed the Forgotten Odyssey
        >
        >
        >
        > After the film - the MC asked the Sibirak Survivors to stand up and identify
        > themselves - about 15 people did - a handful of them not Jewish while the
        > remainder were jewish. This was poignant and for some this was the first
        > time their experience was ever acknowledged. They received wide applause.
        > It was very emotional.
        >
        >
        >
        > The panel presentation was lead in by an acadmic (Sovietologist) from Melb
        > Uni - Dr Stephen Wheatcroft.
        >
        >
        >
        > The panel presentation were interesting in their differences.
        >
        >
        >
        > Zosia retold her experiences through Kazakstan then life in refugee camps.
        >
        >
        >
        > Stefan focused on maintenance and discovery of Memory.
        >
        >
        >
        > Krysia Kinst - both parents Sibiraks who didn't get out until after the war
        > - retold the different perspectives of the experience of both parents. She
        > also noted that the Sibirak experience even though it was bad still saved
        > her parents from certain death under the Germans
        >
        >
        >
        > Then there were questions and often statements from the audience. One of
        > the most emotional ones was from a frail lady who despite promting from the
        > MC insisted in speaking in Polish - saying that watching the film she saw
        > her life. The highlight of what she said was that she knew our Stefan's
        > father back in Palestine. Amazing
        >
        >
        >
        > The finish to the evening was a speech by Daniel Gromann, Consul General for
        > Poland - who spoke about the current view of History in Poland.
        >
        >
        >
        > The Honorary Consul - Dr Luk Kozika was also present.
        >
        >
        >
        > Afterwards all the attendees sought out presenters - talked with each other
        > - wanted more information.
        >
        >
        >
        > There were many second gen Polish Jewish sibiraks - who knew so little about
        > their parents experience and all of this was neew.
        >
        >
        >
        > During the Q&A section of the evening there was discussion about Polish
        > Jewish people in the military
        >
        >
        >
        > I then mentioned that I am involved in the Polish Squadrons yahoo group and
        > that we had Polish Jews in our membership
        >
        >
        >
        > After the event a lady came to me and expressed her gratitude as her cousin
        > was such a person.
        >
        >
        >
        > 704949 Rozental Henryk
        > 24.05.1924 kpr. / F/Sgt Strzelec
        > pok┬│adowy
        >
        > brak dalszych informacji
        >
        >
        >
        > He returned to Poland - settled in Lodz then moved to Warsaw where he died a
        > few years ago
        >
        >
        >
        > One popular thing was a table in the foyer exhibiting books on the Sibirak
        > experience. Queries were referred to me. There were a dozen or so people
        > wanting to buy the books - but I told them they were my private collection.
        > They noted the titles and were going to order the books.
        >
        >
        >
        > There were other interesting people such as a young Austrian student on
        > placement at the Centre - studying the Holocaust and came (encouraged by
        > Survivors) out of sheer interest.
        >
        >
        >
        > I loved watching Moshe Fiszman, a holocaust survivor from Radom, reciting
        > long verses of Mickiewicz, going into rapture about the quality of the
        > poetry and scolding our Stefan for not knowing the poetry.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > It was a wonderful evening - both organisations made new friends in the
        > respective communities. The Sibirak Association was overjoyed because of
        > the high focus on their experience.
        >
        >
        >
        > We also identified survivors for interviews.
        >
        >
        >
        > It was a fantastic evening and I am still walk on a high.
        >
        >
        >
        > Lucyna
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > PS before the function - representatives of both organisations met with
        > Chief Rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich who happened to be in Melbourne for
        > a bar mitzvah. It wwas wonderful to show to him that the two communities in
        > the ddiasporra can work together.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • eve5j
        What happened to Jagna and Aneta s second film which centered on Polish-Jewish relations? That film would have been a fitting subject for such an audience
        Message 3 of 4 , Mar 1, 2011
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          What happened to Jagna and Aneta's second film which centered on Polish-Jewish relations? That film would have been a fitting subject for such an audience also.

          Ewa

          --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "Stefan" <stefan.wisniowski@...> wrote:
          >
          > Lucyna - thanks for posting this comprehensive report on the joint Polish-Jewish event in Melbourne, and thanks for also posting 117 photos from the event in your second message at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kresy-Siberia/message/43191
          >
          > It was a pleasure to come down to Melbourne and participate in this event. It was great to meet local Kresy-Siberia group member - Michael Czajka - there and great to see so many Sybiraks/ Survivors able to come - all Polish citizens and from both ethnic/religious communities.
          >
          > Thanks to Louise Blazejowska for bringing the colourful rollup banner down from Sydney to highlight the Kresy-Siberia Group (check out the photos), and for introducing the 17-minute abridged version of "A Forgotten Odyssey" that Aneta Naszynska created for the Kresy-Siberia Virtual Museum, and for doing so in such a moving and personal way.
          >
          > Special thanks to Lucyna Artymiuk for organising this event for us, for putting Louise and me up for the night at her house and driving us around, and for the jars of home-made jam!
          >
          > Finally, I hope that we can repeat this event in other cities and other countries - it is a simple format: the film is a terrific intro to the story and at 17 minutes gets the history across without tiring anyone out. Then some Survivors and members of Kresy-Siberia on a panel broiefly introduce their and their families stories and answer questions. Finally, representatives of local Polonia and the Polish diplomatic corps round out the evening.
          >
          > If anyone is interested, please get in touch with us at kresy-siberia-owner@yahoogroups.com and we can help with any planning, publicity and presentation materials - now that we have done one of these it is so much easier to do the next ones.
          >
          > Regards
          > Stefan Wisniowski
          > SYDNEY
        • Stefan (KS) Wisniowski
          Hi Eva It sure would. THE OTHER TRUTH deals with the centuries of Polish and Jewish co-existence in Poland. The film, like A FORGOTTEN ODYSSEY, is on the hands
          Message 4 of 4 , Mar 1, 2011
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            Hi Eva

            It sure would. THE OTHER TRUTH deals with the centuries of Polish and Jewish co-existence in Poland. The film, like A FORGOTTEN ODYSSEY, is on the hands of the ladies' families and through our friends, we are talking to them about the best ways to promote and distribute these films.

            Regards

            Stefan Wisniowski
            Sydney

            On 02/03/2011, at 2:20, "eve5j" <Eve5J@...> wrote:

            > What happened to Jagna and Aneta's second film which centered on Polish-Jewish relations? That film would have been a fitting subject for such an audience also.
            >
            > Ewa
            >
            > --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, "Stefan" <stefan.wisniowski@...> wrote:
            > >
            > > Lucyna - thanks for posting this comprehensive report on the joint Polish-Jewish event in Melbourne, and thanks for also posting 117 photos from the event in your second message at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kresy-Siberia/message/43191
            > >
            > > It was a pleasure to come down to Melbourne and participate in this event. It was great to meet local Kresy-Siberia group member - Michael Czajka - there and great to see so many Sybiraks/ Survivors able to come - all Polish citizens and from both ethnic/religious communities.
            > >
            > > Thanks to Louise Blazejowska for bringing the colourful rollup banner down from Sydney to highlight the Kresy-Siberia Group (check out the photos), and for introducing the 17-minute abridged version of "A Forgotten Odyssey" that Aneta Naszynska created for the Kresy-Siberia Virtual Museum, and for doing so in such a moving and personal way.
            > >
            > > Special thanks to Lucyna Artymiuk for organising this event for us, for putting Louise and me up for the night at her house and driving us around, and for the jars of home-made jam!
            > >
            > > Finally, I hope that we can repeat this event in other cities and other countries - it is a simple format: the film is a terrific intro to the story and at 17 minutes gets the history across without tiring anyone out. Then some Survivors and members of Kresy-Siberia on a panel broiefly introduce their and their families stories and answer questions. Finally, representatives of local Polonia and the Polish diplomatic corps round out the evening.
            > >
            > > If anyone is interested, please get in touch with us at kresy-siberia-owner@yahoogroups.com and we can help with any planning, publicity and presentation materials - now that we have done one of these it is so much easier to do the next ones.
            > >
            > > Regards
            > > Stefan Wisniowski
            > > SYDNEY
            >
            >


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