March of Memory and Prayer – The main celebrations

The main celebrations began on July 3 at Menorah monument. Bogdan Białek, recalling the brutally murdered by Germans thousands of Kielce Jews from the ghetto  called for finding hope stating that the world without violence and hatred would be able to conceive and realize: “We never gather here in this place against anyone, even against those whom we consider in our minds as our opponents, or maybe – God forbid – as enemies. We are gathering here for ourselves, for all people, for a better future.

The Israel’s ambassador to Poland, Anna Azari, called to the assembled: “We must keep this sense of solidarity in our hearts and together act against the manifestations of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia. Włodzimierz Kac, Chairman of the Jewish Religious Community in Kielce, and Artur Hofman, President of the Jewish Social and Cultural Society in Poland, delivered their speeches. The next stage of the march was the Memorial of the Righteous Among the Nations, located in front of the building of the former synagogue in Kielce. The people gathered celebrated the memory of Poles who protected the Jews during the occupation and helped them.

The march was ended with the ceremony at the pogrom site – in front of the townhouse at Planty 7. In his speech Bogdan Białek said: – Friends, what makes us different? So little – only our views. And there is more to us, much more. I assume, I trust, I am convinced that none of us, none of us gathered here, whatever and however we think of this dismal historical fact of July 1946, wants ever, with anyone’s inspiration, for any reason, to witness such equally monstrous crimes committed which stained the Polish soil; no one to other people to suffer anymore or lose their life due to hatred or political calculation, ignorance or superstition. So that no one, no man, and every man was created in the image and likeness of God, is ever harmed because of his language, his skin color, his origin, his religion.