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THE 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING
COMMEMORATIVE EVENING

(organized by our sister organization , the Polish-Jewish Heritage Foundation of Canada, the Toronto Chapter)

Sunday, April 27, 2003 at 6:30 pm

University of Toronto, Trinity College, George Ignatieff Theatre,
Program of the Evening

Introduction and Welcome - Piotr Jassem, PJHF President

The Uprising, 60 Years Later - Dr. Frank Bialystok, historian

"Children of The Ghetto" - documentary short film, produced by The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw (first Canadian screening)

Survivor Testimony - Bianka Kraszewski

Eyewitness Testimony - Adela Dean, read by daughter Alicja Gettlich

Poetry of the Holocaust

Czesław Miłosz, Campo di Fiori - Agata Pilitowska

Czesław Miłosz, Campo di Fiori - Lauren Bialystok, transl. by Lou is Iribarne and David Brooks

Wisława Szymborska, Jeszcze - Agata Pilitowska

Wisława Szymborska, Still - Lauren Bialystok, transl. by Joanna Trzeciak

Władysław Broniewski, Żydom polskim - Agata Pilitowska

Władysław Broniewski, To Polish Jews - Lauren Bialystok, transl. by Witold Liliental

Binem Heller, In Varshever geto iz itst khoydesh nisn - Ethel Cooper

Binem Heller, In Warsaw ghetto, it's the month of Nissan - Sandra Bialystok, unknown translator

J.S. Bach, Partita #2 in D Minor - Aviva Lufer, violin

"Warsaw Ghetto Uprising" - documentary short film, produced by The Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw (first Canadian screening)

The Final Letter of Szmul Zygielbojm - Henry Dasko

Lighting of Candles

Bianka Kraszewski, Adela Dean, Josef Meshorer, Anna Cheszes, Jerzy Pilitowski, Sandra and Lauren Bialystok contact@pjhftoronto.ca


The first part of the address delivered by Peter Jassem,
President of the Foundation

Ladies and Gentlemen – Szanowni Panstwo,

60 years ago the flames and smoke engulfed the heart of the Polish capital, and gunfire filled the air. At the height of the desperate battle against the mighty German war machine, the insurgents raised two flags on a rooftop high above the ghetto – one with the blue Star of David on a white background, the other the red and white banner of the Polish Republic. Together, these flags proclaimed that the Jews of Poland were not surrendering to the Nazis, and they also represented the centuries of coexistence, mutual enrichment and common heritage of Jews and Poles. The insurgents of the Warsaw Ghetto were fighting for their oppressed Jewish nation but yet they had not forgotten their terrorized Polish homeland.

This is why it is only natural that, tonight, representatives of the Jewish and Polish communities of Toronto have gathered together to pay tribute to this act of outstanding heroism by the young sons and daughters of the ancient Jewish nation that had found refuge on Polish soil centuries ago.

As president of the Polish-Jewish Heritage Foundation, I would like to thank you on behalf of our organisation for joining us tonight in remembrance of the heroes of the uprising, and of the countless victims of the Holocaust.

----------------------

ONE OF THE POEMS RECITED DURING THE COMMEMORATIVE EVENING


TO POLISH JEWS

Dedicated to the memory of Szmul Zygielbojm

by Władysław Broniewski

Translated by Witold Liliental

From Polish towns and from shtetls no desperate cries reach the ears,
Like warriors, the last defenders of Warsaw ghetto lie fallen
In blood I soak my compassion, my heart in a flood of tears
For you, Polish Jews, I write this - a homeless Polish poet.

Bloodthirsty dogs, and not humans, not soldiers but brutal henchmen
Came to kill you and your wives, not sparing the children crying,
To suffocate in gas chambers, to choke with lime in the transports,
And ridicule the defenseless, the terrified and the dying.

But you raised the stone, defiant, to hurl it at the assailant
Who cynically aimed his cannon to level your home to rubble
O sons of the Macabbees noble, you also fought and died valiant
With no ray of hope standing up to our common, patriotic struggle.

Let this be carved as in granite forever in Polish tradition:
Our common home has been trampled; one common foe we both face,
Auschwitz and Dachau unite us, and every street execution,
And every bar in each prison, and each nameless resting place.

One common sky mid the ruins above our Warsaw will spread
With many years’ toil and struggle victoriously left behind,
To each giving freedom and law and to each one a bite of bread.
And but one human race will flourish; the highest: the noble kind.

From the Web editor:
Szmul Zygielbojm was the Bund Representative with the Polish National Council in Exile. Open the file : ‘The Last Letter from Szmul Zygielbojm’, published on our Web site in NEW PUBLICATIONS in April