Unveiling commemorative plaques and opening of a permanent exhibition

The three-day anniversary celebrations began on 2 July. at noon, the mayor of Kielce Wojciech Lubawski and the president of the Jan Karski Society Bogdan Białek unveiled two commemorative plaques, mounted on the building at Planty 7. The first of them there are words from a St. John Paul II’s homily delivered on June 3, 1991 in Maslow near Kielce:’ In July 1946 in Kielce many Jewish brothers lost their lives. We recommend their souls to God’.

On the second plaque there is a message of Pope Francis of the letter of 1 March 2016 to Rabbi Abraham Skórka: Regarding what you wrote to me today about Kielce, I will always be on the side of forgiveness and reconciliation. Open wounds are no good and may lead to further infections. But when they heal only scars remain that, over time, become an integral remnant in our history.

Kielce Bishop Jan Piotrowski referred to the words of Pope Francis: – My dear, look at your hands, look somewhere at your face to see if there are any scars. Because I have such scars. Healed. We forget about certain events but the scars remind us of something. Because scars are a sign of history.

Then, at the seat of the Jan Karski Society a permanent exhibition dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Kielce pogrom was opened. The exhibition consists of documents, records and testimonies from the trails, copies of the minutes of the inspection of the bodies, the materials of the investigation and pictures of the victims. On the screen you can see the accounts of three survivors of the pogrom in Kielce, study the chronology of history of the Jews and their Holocaust as well as some attempts to rebuild their lives after the war and the Pogrom. On the anniversary of the pogrom the exhibition was visited by the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda and the Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński.

Special screening of the film entitled “Bogdan’s Journey”.

In the evening at Fenomen cinema, a special screening of the film “In the Planty 7/9” (English title “Bogdan’s Journey”) was held. The directors of the film – a Polish Catholic and an American Jew – for almost 10 years working on the film learned a common view at the history of the Kielce pogrom. On the 70th anniversary of the tragedy they presented a story about how much may change between people when even the most painful truth is spoken about with love.