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Special to the JTA the Folks-Sztyme Carries on

May 3, 1983
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The new editor of the Yiddish weekly, Folks-Sztyme, is Abraham Kvaterko, a native of Warsaw, and affiliated with the paper since its beginnings in 1947. During that period he had reported on Jewish life in Poland. He replaced Shmuel Tennenblatt, the editor and driving force of the Folks-Sztyme for many years, until his untimely death last September.

When the paper first was published it consisted of eight pages and come out four times a week. For the past several years it has been a weekly, comprising nine pages in Yiddish and three in Polish.

Kvaterko, in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said his paper has a good relationship with the government, which subsidizes the journal to the extent of 5 million Zlotys ($58,824) annually. He also noted that the government dispenses another 8 million Zlotys for the Yiddish Kultur Farband (with 15 clubs in various towns and cities); and that the Jewish Historical Institute is also a recipient of government funds.


During his interview with the JTA, Kvaterko focussed on the 40th anniversary observance of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, noting that he believed strongly in the coming together of Jews from all parts of the world to commemorate the event. In an apparent criticism of those who counselled Jews not to participate, because the observance was government-sponsored, he said:

"If someone wants to make politics, that’s his privilege, but I don’t believe in it. I feel, very simply, that on a Yahrzeit one goes to the cemetery to mourn one’s dead. I feel very pleased that much of the Jewish world was represented here in Warsaw for the celebration."

Kvaterko revealed that there had been telephoned warnings some weeks prior to the observance that there might be an attack on visitors. The Jewish community asked the government for extra protection and the request received an immediate positive response.

Emphasizing again that "We feel very heartened that there was such a turnout of Jews," he pointed out that "all we need now is a rabbi for our beautiful synagogue. We have a shochet who comes in from Budapest to take care of kashrut, but if we had a permanent rabbi, we would feel really blessed."

Kvaterko said he looks forward to the future with renewed vigor and confidence after the stimulus of the Jews who came here from all parts of the diaspora for a week-long visit. Several hundred Jews, both young and old, religious and secular, including 300 from Israel, expressed a common resolve during their stay — to honor the Warsaw Jews who just four decades ago died in on epic struggle against the Nazi barbarians between April 19-May 16, 1943.

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