Commemoration of the 77th anniversary of the extermination of Jews from the Kielce ghetto

On August 26, together with the inhabitants of Kielce and young people from Israel we celebrated the 77th anniversary of the extermination of Jews from the Kielce ghetto. The main event took place at the Menorah monument, situated in the centre of an area designated by Germans for the ghetto. “77 years ago, in gas chambers of Treblinka, Germans exterminated more than 20,000 people, one-third of the city’s population. Nazis exterminated those who built this city and made its fate. They were dying in solitude and silence. They were dying in the world indifferent to their suffering. The indifference of our world continues to this day”, said Bogdan Białek, president of the Jan Karski Society.

Apart from the inhabitants of Kielce, this short ceremony was attended by young people from Israel, students and teachers for Ziv and Marcus Makif School, which was an unusual sign. Together with Poles they read out the names of all the known Kielce Jews murdered in the Shoah. Then, encouraged by Bogdan Białek, Poles and Israelis attending the ceremony offered to each other the sign of peace, which was a very moving moment. Finally, the Israeli youth recited Kaddish, the prayer for the dead, and sang Hatikva, the national anthem of Israel expressing hope for the future without war.