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Polish Authorities Preparing to Commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

March 7, 1983
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Polish authorities plan to give the utmost solemnity to the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising next month, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was told by Stefan Grayek, president of the World Federation of Jewish Fighters, Partisans and Camp Inmates, who just returned from Warsaw.

President Vladislav Jablonsky of Poland and members of the government, as well as representatives of the Communist Party’s secretariat, will attend the ceremonies on the site where the ghetto was situated and which is now marked by a statue representing the heroism of the city’s last Jewish fighters.

Grayek said that more than 1,000 delegates from 24 countries, including Israel and the Soviet Union, will attend the ceremonies which will officially start on April 18. That day the old Warsaw synagogue, partially destroyed during the fighting, will be reinaugurated after having been rebuilt.

Poland’s Religious Affairs Minister Adam Loptka will symbolically hand over the building to the city’s Jewish community. The Polish government has assumed the cost for the synagogue’s reconstruction, reportedly at a cost of well above $1 million. Three cantors will recite the traditional prayers.

On the same day, April 18, an exhibition will open at the Polish National Museum retracing the history of Poland’s Jewish community and its contribution to Polish culture and Poland’s struggle for independence.


For the next week, the participants will visit the sites of former concentration camps — Auschwitz, Treblinka, Maidanek, and countless other places where six million Jews suffered and ultimately died. Grayek said the Polish authorities are doing all they can to enable the participants to see all the “hells in which Jews suffered and died.”

Among those expected to attend are survivors of Jewish resistance organizations from some 20 countries as well as the Chief Rabbi of Moscow, the Chief Rabbi of Rumania and delegates from Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. War veterans from the Soviet Union will be officially represented as will war veteran organizations from the West.

Among those expected at the ceremonies are Education Minister Zevulun Hammer of Israel; Mayor Shlomo Lahat of Tel Aviv; Julius Berman, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress; Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and a past chairman of the President’s Conference; and Greville Janner, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

More than 100 youngsters born in Israel will also attend the ceremonies as a reminder of their people’s history. Some of the Israel youth, high school students from all over the country, will participate in the honor guard along with members of the Polish army on the site of the last bunker used during the ghetto uprising by its leader, Mordecai Anilewicz (1919-1943).

The official ceremonies will be preceded by a three-day seminar which will study Hitler’s “final solution” and its application in Poland. Some 120 scholars and research workers from dozens of institutes and universities, including from Yad Vashem, will attend the seminar whose findings will later be published in book form.

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