In the Media

02.14.2016
Poland to reevaluate state honor to Jewish historian

Piotr Kadlcik, a former president of the umbrella group of Polish Jewish communities, said that revoking the medal would make Gross “persecuted by authorities.”

http://www.jta.org/2016/02/14/news-opinion/world/poland-to-reevaluate-state-honor-to-jewish-historian

12.10.2015
Hanukkah candle lighting returns to Polish Presidential Palace

“It is good that Hanukkah candles were lit again in the Presidential Palace,” Polish-Jewish activist Piotr Kadlcik told JTA. “I hope that the president’s words, the ‘republic of friends,’ is a good sign for Polish Jews and Israel.”

http://www.jta.org/2015/12/10/news-opinion/world/hanukkah-candle-lighting-returns-to-polish-presidential-palace

11.19.2015
Jew burned in effigy during Polish demonstration against refugees

“Recalling anti-Jewish stereotypes proves that we are still divided and that cooperation is not possible,” Piotr Kadlcik, a Polish-Jewish activist, told JTA.

http://www.jta.org/2015/11/19/news-opinion/world/jew-burned-in-effigy-during-polish-demonstration-against-refugees

10.26.2015
Rightist party that made Auschwitz joke wins Polish Parliament

Piotr Kadlcik, a former president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, told JTA that he hoped the newly elected ruling party “will not forget the heritage of the late president Lech Kaczynski — a friend of the Jews and Israel,” and a former member of the Law and Justice party.

http://www.jta.org/2015/10/26/news-opinion/world/rightist-party-that-made-auschwitz-joke-wins-polish-parliament

10.19.2015
Polish-Jewish activist exonerated over pro-Israel demonstration

“I am glad that justice prevailed. In our difficult times, when BDS and an anti-Israeli approach is so common throughout Europe – there is hope in Poland,” Piotr Kadlcik, a Polish-Jewish activist who was a witness at the trial, told JTA.

http://www.jta.org/2015/10/19/news-opinion/world/polish-jewish-activist-exonerated-over-pro-israel-demonstration

08.31.2015
Showers installed outside Auschwitz remind visitors of gas chambers

Piotr Kadlcik, the immediate past president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, agreed.

“The Germans twisted the concept of shower – a source of cleanness and relief – into the equivalent of pure horror. We shall not follow this path,” he commented. “The unprecedented heat wave during this summer required proper measures. Its a sign of care for the visitors by muse – um staff.”

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Showers-installed-outside-Auschwitz-remind-visitors-of-gas-chambers-413782

08.19.2015
Restitution advocates criticize Polish policies as overly onerous

“The restitution issue was neglected by all consecutive governments basically from the fall of Communism. I highly doubt that it will change right now,” Piotr Kadlcik, the immediate past president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, said.

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Restitution-advocates-criticize-Polish-policies-as-overly-onerous-412621

08.11.2015
Polish-Jewish activist appears in court over pro-Israel demonstration

Piotr Kadlcik, the former chairman of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, who took part in the July demonstration, testified on Tuesday.

“It is sad that at a time when we are talking so much about civil initiatives, this protest meets with repressive and unnecessary reaction of the state,” Kadlcik told JTA. “I hope that the authorities of Polish-Jewish organizations in the future will draw more attention to the initiatives of members of our community. This is important — for Israel and for us.”

http://www.jta.org/2015/08/11/news-opinion/world/polish-jewish-activist-appears-in-court-over-pro-israel-demonstration

05.26.2015
Polish Jews ready for diaglogue with newly elected president, leaders say

“I hope that the new president will go the way of one of his predecessors, Lech Kaczynski, with whom I had a chance to cooperate on many occasions and whom I considered a friend of Polish Jews,” Piotr Kadlcik, Jewish activist and board member of the Warsaw Jewish Community, told JTA.

http://www.jta.org/2015/05/26/news-opinion/world/polish-jews-ready-for-diaglogue-with-newly-elected-president-leader-says

05.10.2015
Vandalism destroys monument to Polish Jewish community killed in Holocaust

Polish Jewish activist Piotr Kadlcik said it was hard to call this an ordinary act of vandalism.
“The destruction of a massive monument located away from the city requires careful planning,” he told JTA.

http://www.jta.org/2015/05/10/news-opinion/world/vandalism-destroys-monument-to-polish-jewish-community-killed-in-holocaust

04.20.2015
Polish Jewish leaders weigh in on FBI Holocaust spat

Piotr Kadlcik, the immediate past President of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, said that he doubted that Comey wished to offend Poles.

“From my perspective he was referring to the group of German collaborators active throughout the entirety of Europe,” he said. “I agree that choosing both Poles and Hungarians (being an active part of Axis) was a wrong choice, but I do not think that it was done on purpose.

What saddened me was the national outcry that had an impact on the Anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.”

http://new.jpost.com/Diaspora/Polish-Jewish-leaders-weigh-in-on-FBI-Holocaust-spat-398704

04.19.2015
Poles mark anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto uprising

“The insurgents were fully aware that they were fighting only for a dignified death,” Piotr Kadlcik, a board member of the Warsaw Jewish Community, told JTA.

http://www.jta.org/2015/04/19/news-opinion/world/poles-commemorate-anniversary-of-warsaw-ghetto-uprising

02.02.2015
Vandals attack large Jewish cemetery in Warsaw

“It is sad, that the deceased perish for the decisions of the living,” Piotr Kadlcik, former president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA.

http://www.jta.org/2015/02/02/news-opinion/world/vandals-attack-large-jewish-cemetery-in-warsaw

http://forward.com/articles/213950/vandals-deface-fence-of-jewish-cemetery-in-warsaw/

01.25.2015
When the office is a death camp

“For me, Auschwitz is a place of reflection and meditation,” said Piotr Kadlcik, the former president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland and a board member of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, which raises money for the museum. “I think it is important for many people who come here to work. They cannot really imagine that they could work elsewhere. They are somehow shaped by this place.”

http://www.jta.org/2015/01/25/news-opinion/world/when-the-office-is-a-death-camp

http://www.timesofisrael.com/when-the-office-is-a-death-camp/

01.16.2015
Polish Catholics hold annual Day of Judaism

“In Poland, there are 1,200 Jewish cemeteries that are in various conditions. In a few cases there is great cooperation with local communities. Thanks to the appeal of the bishops maybe there will be more such cases,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA.

http://www.jta.org/2015/01/16/news-opinion/world/auto-draft-11

12.18.2014
Ban on kosher ‘unconstitutional’

“This ruling is satisfactory,” said Piotr Kadlcik, a board member of the Jewish Community of Warsaw. “The tribunal gave a very good signal that Poland is not an anti-Semitic country.”

http://www.producer.com/2014/12/ban-on-kosher-unconstitutional/

12.10.2014
Jewish ritual slaughter to commence as Polish high court overturns ban

The ruling was a “clear signal” that discrimination against a minority will not be accepted, Piotr Kadlcík, the immediate past president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland and one of the leaders of the community’s campaign told the Post.

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Jewish-ritual-slaughter-to-commence-as-Polish-high-court-overturns-ban-384252

11.26.2014
Polish Town Plans To Turn Jewish Cemetery Into Apartment Complex

“The Jewish community in Poland is so small, that we are not able to monitor all matters relating to cemeteries, synagogues and other places important from the point of view of the pre-war communities,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, told JTA. “That is why we appreciate the initiative of people like Robert Augustyniak, who care about local history and the fact that it was not forgotten. I also thank the Mayor of Grodzisk for his quick response and willingness to cooperate in this regard.”

http://forward.com/articles/209892/polish-town-plans-to-turn-jewish-cemetery-into-apa/

10.28.2014
Amid growing European anti-Semitism, new Jewish museum in Poland ‘reveals hope’

The museum’s impact “stretches way, way beyond the building,” said Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland. “And it’s not about a museum of the history of Polish Jews — it’s about Polish Jews. History means past, and it’s not about the past.”

http://www.jta.org/2014/10/28/news-opinion/world/amid-growing-european-anti-semitism-new-jewish-museum-in-poland-reveals-hope

10.27.2014
Poland to hold hearing on ritual slaughter ban

“We hope that the Tribunal will rule on the admissibility of Jewish ritual slaughter on Polish territory,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA. “This will eliminate confusion as to the legality or illegality of this kind of slaughter.”
“It also will eliminate rumors that the slaughter is done somewhere illegally,” he added. “We want it to be done according to religious principles and practices of openness and transparency.”

http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.622988

10.25.2014
Poland seeks to reclaim forgotten past as haven for Jews through new museum

“When you take into account that Jews are being beaten up in the streets in Germany or France or Scandinavia, you even have synagogues being burned down, murders — we don’t have any of that,” said Piotr Kadlcik, vice-president of the Jewish community of Warsaw, one of the country’s biggest Jewish groups.
“I think that right now it’s safer to walk around Warsaw in a yarmulke than it is in certain neighborhoods in Paris.”

http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Poland-bids-to-reclaim-forgotten-past-as-haven-for-Jews-379767

10.13.2014
Headstones used in Warsaw park returning to Jewish cemetery

Piotr Kadlcik, chairman of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, said repairs will start this year with the fences and gate.
“In the near future, we also want to put there a pavilion with social facilities for staff, and a space with an exhibition on the history of the cemetery,” he said. “Perhaps we will be able to do it next year.”
Kadlcik said he wants the cemetery to be made available to tourists and nearby schools.

http://www.jta.org/2014/10/13/news-opinion/world/headstones-used-in-warsaw-park-returning-to-jewish-cemetery#ixzz3G3TZ55SR

10.07.2014
Polish court acquits prosecutor for not trying swastika case

“There are places in the world where this symbol can be associated with happiness. For people born in Poland, where in each family there is a memory of the tortured, executed or starved by the people under this sign, the prosecutor’s amnesia must be a shock,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA.

http://www.jta.org/2014/10/07/news-opinion/world/polish-court-acquits-prosecutor-for-not-trying-swastika-case

09.17.2014
Polish Jews split over plan to exhume massacre victims

“We have tools to determine details about both victims and perpetrators in a matter which is still a criminal matter,” said Kadlcik, who is seeking an exhumation followed by Jewish burial of the human remains. “If we let this chance go, the case of Wasosz will become history — an unclear one and subject to falsification.”

http://www.jta.org/2014/09/17/news-opinion/world/polish-jews-split-over-plan-to-exhume-massacre-victims

08.28.2014
Holocaust memorial erected in Polish Jewish cemetery

“When the ceremony ends we will go to our homes. But this monument will remain here,” said Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland. “This monument is a testimony to what once was here in the Jewish community.”

http://www.jta.org/2014/08/28/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/holocaust-memorial-erected-in-polish-jewish-cemetery

07.11.2014
World War II massacre at Jedwabne commemorated

Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA that it is important to work hand in hand with the residents of places like Jedwabne to make sure that these massacres are not forgotten.
“Our prayer is to remind the true extent of the tragedy that happened to the Jews of the small cities and towns,” he said. “We should work together with the residents of those places, not only on the occasion of anniversaries. It is worth to think what we can do together do for our common history.”

http://www.jta.org/2014/07/11/news-opinion/united-states/world-war-ii-massacre-at-jedwabne-commemorated#ixzz37LcWlUJI

http://www.timesofisrael.com/world-war-ii-massacre-at-jedwabne-commemorated/

05.18.2014
Polish lawmaker calls for end to Jewish property restitution

Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, called Kopycinski’s statement “disgusting.”

“All cases are investigated and verified,” Kadlcik said in a statement Sunday. “Returning this property can hardly be called ‘a partition of Poland’ because the Jewish community is not an alien invader, but rather the citizens of the Republic of Poland, who have the same rights and responsibilities as everyone else. “

http://www.jta.org/2014/05/18/news-opinion/world/polish-mp-calls-for-end-to-jewish-property-restitution#ixzz3245TR3dN

http://forward.com/articles/198396/polish-mp-calls-for-end-to-jewish-world-war-ii-pro/

04.28.2014
March of the Living

“Yom Hashoah is to remind everyone the terrible consequences of having hatred for another human being,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, told JTA. “We remember and we will never forget. The real responsibility is to combat the manipulation of history and to teach sensitivity and empathy to the next generations.”

http://forward.com/articles/197277/-young-jews-mark-holocaust-remembrance-day-at/

04.23.2014
As Poland touts rescuers, filmmakers address Holocaust-era treachery

Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, notes the development of two competing narratives about the Holocaust in Poland today — one emphasizing collaboration with the Nazis and the other celebrating rescuers of Jews.
To Kadlcik, films such as “Aftermath” reflect a willingness to portray the darker chapters of Polish history. But the multitude of commemorations are an effort “to push the image of the righteous as a way of countering the discussion about immoral actions,” he said.

http://www.jta.org/2014/04/23/news-opinion/world/as-poland-touts-rescuers-filmmakers-address-holocaust-era-treachery#ixzz31OL62v00

04.15.2014
Things of Fundamental Value (Auschwitz Memorial)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbUbgWrIKzA

AuschwitzMemorial_en

04.02.2014
Warsaw demolishes ghetto wall, promises reconstruction

“I am glad that the authorities see how important for the history of both the Jews and the city are relics such as this particular wall,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Jewish Community of Warsaw, told JTA. “These objects, even if their historical origin is in some doubt, are an important element of the teaching of history that took place here a few decades earlier. And that we must not forget.
“I hope that as Warsaw authorities promised, the wall will be reconstructed as soon as possible.”

http://www.timesofisrael.com/warsaw-demolishes-ghetto-wall-promises-reconstruction/

03.18.2014
The Jewish World: Poland
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpr6-KnaTg4
WJC_en

 

 

To fellow members of the Community , concerned friends and other interested parties,

I must admit that it took me some time to consider how to respond to the article “Kaddish for a Million Bucks.” Nevertheless, the scale and weight of the allegations compel me to take a position in the matter and leave me in a situation where whatever I might say would take on a personal character and make it difficult to stick to the straight facts. That is why I have chosen to respond to the allegations in the article in the order they appeared. Putting them in list form makes them easier to read and reduces their personal nature. I should add that my responses generally address matters concerning the Jewish Community of Warsaw and the Foundation. It should be understood that this doesn’t mean that the other facts in the article conform to the truth. Together with our legal counsel we are trying to work out with Forbes an explanation of the matter.

 

  1. The sale of plots of land from the Jewish cemetery in Torun as well as their development for housing took place without any sort of approval of the authorities of the Jewish community. This took place in 1993 when the owner and sole administrator of the property was the City of Torun. The cemeteries in Gliwice and Lublin were not sold – neither in part nor in their entirety – as the author of the article fraudulently suggests.
  2. According to community leadership, the synagogue in Działoszyce is not nor ever has been the property of the Jewish Community of Katowice. It currently belongs to the State Treasury and any proceedings with regards to it are being conducted before the Regulatory Commission (Ministry of the Administration). It is therefore untrue that the board of the community could have offered anyone the property since they are not its owner.
    synagoga_dzialoszyce_en
  3. The building of the former hospital in Siedlce  that was sold by the Community after its restitution had stood vacant for several years and was in a state of ruin. The building was not listed as a landmark on the national heritage registry. The Community took possession of the building on November 8, 1999 and sold it on February 2, 2001. It had been vacated before its restitution. The object had not undergone general renovations since the end of the Second World War and was in a state of technical ruin. After taking possession of the real estate the Community tried to lease the property or find an investor for it but was unsuccessful.
    siedlce_szpital_01_en
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  4. The Jewish Community of Warsaw donated 450,000 PLN to the Save the Jewish Cemeteries of Lublin Foundation. The Foundation’s disposal of its funds is governed by statute (i.e.,  the Foundation’s mission is, among others, to preserve the graves, matzevot (tombstones) and monuments giving testimony of Jewish culture in the Jewish cemeteries of Lublin…) and can be confirmed in its financial statements and reports filed with the Ministry of the Interior. The donated funds have been allocated for activities such as restoration of the cemetery wall along Kalinowszczna Street, now in its second year. The total cost of the project, conducted under the supervision of specialists in restoration and archeology, has been estimated to be 7,000,000 PLN. I never have been nor am I now the president or any other member of the governance of the Foundation, a fact which can be easily verified with an online search of the National Court Register (KRS). Typical to form, Forbes simply deleted the bogus content from its internet edition after the Association’s request for an official correction though it can be found in the paper edition of the magazine and in internet reprints from before the deletion.  The Foundation has posted pictures of the progress being made on the renovations of the Lublin cemetery walls on its website(Copy)
  5. The locale in which my son, Rafał Kadlčik, opened the “Bar Mykwa” café is not a registered national or cultural heritage site although it is located within a zone under conservatory protection in the center of Piaseczno.  The board of the Jewish Community of Warsaw undertook the decision to rent the locale – an act in which I took no part, due to the obvious conflict of interest. Under the terms of the lease agreement, the tenant is obliged to pay rent, cover media and other expenses. Moreover, it should be noted that the tenant was obliged to renovate the building. A commemorative plaque has been placed in the locale with a description of the history of the Piaseczno Mikveh (ritual bath).
    mykwa_piaseczno_en
  6. The allegation that the renovations of heating installations in my home were paid for with Community funds has been proven false in a court of law. The principles of journalistic decency dictate extreme caution when reporting charges based on the declarations of “former employees” whose relations with their “former employers” were ambiguous at best.
  7. In the 1950s the former Otwock synagogue was converted to a municipal bath, at which time all signs of the former synagogue were removed. A dozen or so years ago it was abandoned and left in a state of disrepair. On the day of its restitution, all that remained were its walls and a caved in roof. It is not true that the Community ‘sold a synagogue,’ since at that point there had not been a synagogue on the site already for years. A professional real estate agency in Otwock (FAST Nieruchomości) was hired for the transaction which required a commemorative plaque to be placed on the site (which occurred in 2009).
    Otwock_Gorna_6_01_en
    Otwock_Gorna_6_02_en
  8. The building of the former Beit Midrasz in Sokołów Podlaski was recovered on December 20, 1999, and sold on November 20, 2000. At the time of its restitution it was in very poor technical condition. It had been totally rebuilt – with the upper floor adapted for apartment space and the ground floor partially for services (shops). Thus it was stripped of all signs that it had once been a place of prayer. Among the main reasons for the building’s sale were its technical state, its distance from the headquarters of the Community (making it impossible to manage the property effectively) and the two families living on the site who were causing problems and not paying their rent. The renovation the Community carried out, which was in the nature of an emergency repair, and consisted of removing plaster and installing staples connecting two walls. The joint cost of these repairs was 7,000 PLN and not, as stated in the article, 100,000 PLN.
    beit_midrasz_sokolow_05
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    beit_midrasz_sokolow_02
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    sokolow_magistracka_01
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  9. Contrary to Wojciech Surmacz’s assertions in the Forbes article, the Moses Schorr Foundation never published a study according to which there are one hundred thousand Jews residing in Poland.
  10. The Jewish Community of Warsaw’s membership requirements and procedures are publicly available on its website. Part of the procedure requires an original signed application form. Mr. Nissan Tzur, who so far as I am aware is a temporary resident of Kraków, has never submitted an application for membership in the Jewish Community of Warsaw..
  11. In accordance with article 2, para. 1 of the Act of February 20, 1997, regarding relations of the State with the Jewish religious communities in the Republic of Poland, the community comprises majority aged persons of the Judaic faith, having Polish citizenship, residing on the territory of the Republic of Poland. In the year 2000, about 200 people were members of the Community. Today there are over 600 adult members. It is not true that the Community does not accept people who are not from Poland. The law, however, requires they be citizens of Poland.
  12.  Article 30, para. 1 of the Act of February 20, 1997, states that the parties to regulatory proceedings and therefore the beneficiaries of recovered Jewish assets are the individual Jewish Communities or the Association of Communities. The funds transferred to the  World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) were repayments of loan to the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, transferred through the Association  from the aforementioned organization in the amount of $800,000 USD. Thus it is not true, as stated in the Forbes article, that WJRO and the WJC took half of the recovered assets.
  13. The “alarming” (according to the authors of “Kaddish for a Million Bucks”) article in the weekly Polityka was later corrected in print after an appeal from the leadership of the Association of Jewish Religious Communities (Polityka – no. 46 (2376) of November 16, 2002).
  14. It is not true, as Mr. Surmacz asserts, that the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage was at any time a party to regulatory procedures. In accordance with the Act of February 20, 1997, only Jewish communities or the Association of Jewish Religious Communities can apply for restitution of Jewish property.
  15. The Jewish communities and the Association of Jewish Religious Communities are not authorized to lodge claims, nor have they ever done so, regarding property beyond the Bug river according to procedures for restitution of property outside of the borders of the Republic of Poland. In this matter as well, the Forbes article gave untruthful information.
  16. The creation of Jewish communities is regulated by the Act of February 20, 1997. In accordance with article 28 of the Act, the Jewish communities and the Association of Jewish Religious Communities, which had been in operation under the laws prior to the Act, became Jewish communities and the Association as legally understood under the new Act. Thus, it is not true that random people formed these groups, calling themselves Jewish communities. It would suffice to read point three in the correction Polityka had to publish in 2002 under the title “It was concealment” after the publication of P. Pytlakowski’s article “Give us an agreeable rabbi.”

The above is a list of some of the erroneous and inaccurate information published in the article. I am not addressing here all of the allegations and opinions expressed in the text as at this stage the matter is in the hands of our legal counsel.

I have intentionally not touched on the question of Aszkenazi’s opinion piece in Forbes. Drunk-convert, rabbi covering up corruption, liquidator of Jewish assets – all those are epithets which will see their day in court. I am of the opinion that the plaintiffs in the libel case should pay for the proceedings from their own pockets, and I will do so willingly. I am of course aware that whatever victory achieved in this case will be solely a moral one – despite the millions in gifts to the reformed community mentioned in the Forbes text, I don’t suspect Seweryn Aszkenazi of excessive wealth.

Finally, in any case once again, to those who supported me through this – my sincere thanks. To those who have been “waiting for my position and an explanation” – I hope this satisfies you.

Sincerely,

Piotr Kadlčik

President Association of Jewish Religious Communities

 

FODZ Resolution

2013-10-29 RESOLUTION RE. “FORBES’” PUBLICATION

The Board and the Founders of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ) strongly condemn the articles in the September issue of the Polish Forbes magazine (09/2013) about Jewish institutions in Poland, including FODZ, as damaging the good name of people involved in FODZ’s activities, including its officers, employees, partners, sponsors, and friends.

The comments about FODZ in these articles were based on allegations and not on verified facts.  In our opinion, the articles’ allegations against FODZ contradict the public mission carried by the media by the authors of the articles, the editorial staff, and the publisher of Forbes magazine (the German Ringier Axel Springer company).

The Board would like to stress that FODZ complies with legal regulations, binding in Poland, that oblige FODZ to submit activity and financial reports to the registry court, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration, and the tax office.  Additionally, even though it is under no legal obligation to do so, the financial report of the foundation is verified each year by independent auditors.  All these documents are publicly available.  For this reason we dismiss, as untrue, the articles’ allegations regarding management of the assets by FODZ.

The Board condemns speculation in the articles about the “Jewishness” of specific persons and imputations of corruption and ill-will to people involved in the difficult task of pursuing restitution within the established regulatory process.  The language in the Forbes articles about the restitution process is totally negatively towards the restitution process.  The articles allegations also discourage our partners in the renovation and commemoration projects for key sites constituting the Jewish heritage in Poland.

We appreciate all the expressions of solidarity and support that we have received.

 

APOLOGY

The editors of Forbes would like to state the following regarding the articles which were published in the monthly Forbes (9/2013) entitled “Who are our leaders?,” “Jewish accusation,” and “Kaddish for a million bucks.”

We regret that the above mentioned articles contained invalid claims regarding the activities of institutions and individuals described therein, claims which were detrimental to the property and heritage of Poland’s Jewish community. In particular apologize for the publication of information suggesting the following activities: that the individuals named in the articles reaped personal benefit from the activities of Jewish organizations in Poland; that the restituted Jewish cemeteries in Torun, Gliwice and Lublin were sold contrary to the principles of Jewish tradition and that there was no settling of accounts of the funds allocated for preservation of Jewish heritage.

Once more, we apologize to the entire Jewish community in Poland for the published insinuations distinguishing “true” Jews and “fake” ones, as well as for the assertion that “there are scarcely any true Jews” amongst the leaders of Jewish organizations. It was neither the editorial staff’s nor the author’s intention to assign values to members of the Jewish community.

In particular we would like to apologize to the following individuals and institutions: Mr. Michael Schudrich – Chief Rabbi of Poland, Ms. Monika Krawczyk, Mr. Piotr Kadlčik, Mr. Andrzej Zozula, Ms. Alicja Kobus, Mr. Tadeusz Jakubowicz, Mr. Piotr Rytka – Zandberg, as well as the authorities of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, the authorities and members of the Association of Jewish Communities In the epublic of Poland and the Jewish Community of Warsaw

The editorial staff of Forbes and its publisher Ringier Axel Springer Polska Sp. z o.o.

 

CORRECTIONS TO THE ARTICLE

“KADDISH FOR A MILLION BUCKS”

 In the article “Kaddish for a Million Bucks,” written by Wojciech Surmacz with the collaboration of Nissan Tzur and published in August 2013 in Forbesmagazine (no. 9/2013) as well as on the website www.forbes.pl, the reader was presented with the following erroneous or imprecise information which requires correction:

  1. It is not true that real estate representing part of the assets recovered by the Association of Jewish Communities in the Republic of Poland or the Jewish Community of Warsaw was sold below market value. Every sale of real estate, if matters come to such a transaction, is based on relevant documentation including an appraisal of the given property. The synagogue in Otwock was sold at a price set by external real estate professionals which reflected its poor physical state and its not being not fit for use.
  2. It is not true that cemeteries in Torun, Lublin and Gliwice were sold by the Association of Jewish Communities in the Republic of Poland. Jewish Communities do not liquidate any parts of restituted Jewish property which according to Jewish law or custom require special care or protection.
  3. The former hospital in Siedlce which the Community sold had stood vacant for several years and was in a state of complete ruin at the time of its restitution. The object also was not listed as a landmark on the national heritage registry. On the other hand, the former Beit Midrasz building in Sokołow Podlaski, long before ownership rights were recovered by the Community, had been stripped of all signs that it had once been a place of prayer and had been converted for residential and commercial use. Irrespective of this, the property was also in very poor technical state.
  4. Comments in the article regarding the sale of Jewish real estate, attributed to Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, which were said to have been part of a conversation with Nissan Tzur are false. Rabbi Michael Schudrich never said such words.
  5. It is not true that Monika Krawczyk uttered the words attributed to her at the beginning of the article. Ms. Krawczyk never stated such words nor similar ones; nor did she ever ‘jest’ in such a manner.
  6. Piotr Kadlčik is not nor has he ever been the president of the Save the Jewish Cemeteries of Lublin Foundation, nor has he ever played a part in its governance. To the best of our knowledge, the funds donated by the Jewish Community of Warsaw were disposed by the Foundation in accordance with its statutes as is confirmed in the financial statements filed annually by the Foundation.
  7. The information that “Piotr Kadlčik’s home was equipped with an up-to-date central heating system for 20,000 zlotys from restitution money” is false. The contractor for the works testified in court that the renovations were paid for with Piotr Kadlčik’s personal funds.
  8. The board of the Jewish Community in Warsaw undertook the decision to rent the “Bar Mykwa” without the participation of Piotr Kadlčik, who excluded himself from the decision process.
  9. The board of the Association of Jewish Communities in the Republic of Poland has no knowledge regarding any unauthorized offer to sell the synagogue in Działoszyce by a member of the authorities of the Jewish Community of Katowice; all the more so since that Community is not the property’s owner.
  10. The claim that Nissan Tzur was not accepted to be a member of the Jewish Community of Warsaw for discretionary reasons is false. Nissan Tzur sent an email asking to become a member, but never submitted a formal application to become one.
  11. The allegation that the Jewish Community of Warsaw has arbitrarily limited anyone’s entry in membership is false. Legal regulations require that those seeking membership in Jewish communities have Polish citizenship and reside within the territory of the Republic of Poland.
  12. It is not true that the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) and the World Jewish Congress (WJC) took half of the recovered assets. The monies paid to WJRO were repayments of a loan from WJRO.
  13. It is not true that Jakub Szadaj was removed from the governance of the Association of Jewish Communities in the Republic of Poland for providing the transcripts described in the article to the media or that he protested against the contract with the World Jewish Restitution Organization. He was not present at the negotiation of such contract.
  14. It is not true that any Jewish community or the Association of Jewish Communities in the Republic of Poland has lodged any claims regarding property beyond the Bug river.
  15. It is not true, as FORBES cited from the Jewish Times, that Jewish Communities were formed in order to lay claims to Jewish property. Jewish Communities came into being by virtue of the provisions of the law governing Judaic Religious Congregations which was already in force when the law governing relations of the State with Jewish religious communities in the Republic of Poland was enacted.

Piotr Kadlčik, President of the Board of the Association of Jewish Communities in the Republic of Poland

Monika Krawczyk, Representative of the Managing Board of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland

Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland