Krakow march recalls centuries-old Jewish presence


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Hundreds marched through the streets of Krakow to commemorate the centuries-old Jewish presence in the city in an event organized by local Christian organizations.

Marchers waved Polish and Israeli flags at the “memory march” held Sunday. Among those on hand was the Krakow bishop, Grzegorz Rys.

The aim of the march was reconciliation between Poles and Jews, and to stand in opposition to anti-Semitism.

“Many of my colleagues from other countries would like to be in my place,” Anna Azari, Israel’s ambassador to Poland, said at the event. “They also have marches, but anti-Semitic ones.”

Zdzislaw Mach, a professor at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, said at the start of the march: “There is no Krakow without its minorities, there is no Krakow without Jews. There is also no Jagiellonian University without Jews.”

The honorary patron of the event was the mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski.

More than 60,000 Jews lived in Kralow before World War II, most in the Kazimierz district, where today there are seven synagogues that survived the war. The ghetto existed in Krakow from 1941 until 1943.

Steven Spielberg filmed his Oscar-winning movie “Schindler’s List” in the Kazimierz district.

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