Posts Tagged ‘Michal Jaskulski of Warsaw’

It’s been 70 years since Europe’s last pogrom. Kielce is beginning to face its past. “Bogdan’s Journey” is the reason why.

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
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Poland’s Kielce was the site of Europe’s last Jewish pogrom – only a year after World War II ended. In 1946, the city’s militia, soldiers and ordinary townspeople killed more than forty Holocaust survivors seeking shelter in a downtown building and injured eighty more around the city. As news of the pogrom spread across Poland, Jews fled the country. The Kielce pogrom became a symbol of Polish post-war anti-Semitism in the Jewish world. Under communism, the pogrom was a forbidden subject in Poland, but the event was never forgotten.

Sixty years later, Bogdan Białek, a Catholic Pole, psychologist, and journalist, began to talk publicly about the darkest moment of the city’s past, persuading the people of Kielce to confront its terrible history. He began alone, but attracted others as he went along. Together, they cut through the miasma of repression and denial in the city’s competing narratives, unveiling his fellow citizens’ deepest prejudices. He worked to reconnect Kielce with the outside Jewish community. Bogdan’s Journey tells his story, and took almost a decade to film.

Bogdan’s Journey tells a unique story about one man and how he redeems seventy years of bitter, contested memories – by telling the truth with love. This film contains subtitles.

Białek will attend the Santa Clara University screening on November 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the St. Clare Room in the library. Afterwards, there will be an onstage conversation with Bialek and the co-directors of the film, Michal Jaskulski of Warsaw, and Lawrence Loewinger of New York.

In 1946, Kielce’s city’s militia, soldiers and ordinary townspeople killed more than 40 Holocaust survivors seeking shelter. It never recovered. Can one man heal a community? The film will screen next Tuesday, 7 p.m., at Santa Clara University. Bogdan will be there. (Trailer included.)

Postscript: And thanks, as always, to George Jansen for his vigilant eyes.