Poland faces up the 'Jewish question'

A new honesty is emerging about complicity in wartime horrors

The World Today
2 minute READ

Mary Dejevsky

Columnist, The Independent

It is a regrettable truth that the Jewish population has started to feel less safe across much of Europe. The murderous attacks in Paris and Copenhagen targeted advocates of free speech, but also Jews. Far-right movements have been gaining ground.

In Britain, reported anti-Semitic incidents almost doubled between 2013 and 2014. Such was the sense of anxiety felt in Israel that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, seized upon it for an election pitch, inviting European Jews to move to safety in Israel.

The gloom is not unrelieved, however, and points of light are to be found in unexpected places. Even as anti-Semitism has been re-emerging in parts of ‘old’ Europe, in ‘new’ Europe, and specifically in Poland, the climate of opinion is moving in the opposite direction. Poland is looking more critically at its history, where ‘the Jewish question’ looms large.

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