The Jerusalem Post - The Jerusalem Post Magazine
OUR MYSTERIOUSLY MISSING
I was very interested to read Alan Rosenbaum’s article about Janusz Makuch, who founded Krakow’s Jewish Culture Festival in 1988 (“Pathfinding pioneer,” October 7). It was just a few years later that I found myself in Krakow as part of the March of the Living in Poland. We had spent a few days in that historic city after an emotional visit to Chelmo and Auschwitz and were debriefing from the horrors we saw there. Krakow was a respite of sorts, allowing us to visit the vestiges of Jewish life there – including the Rama Synagogue and cemetery, where I had the opportunity to visit the grave of a distant ancestor, Rabbi Yoel Sirkis. It was with a very pensive frame of mind, therefore, on the morning of our departure, that I witnessed the putting up of grandstands and lighting in the streets, accompanied by technicians of every sort. I asked some bystanders who spoke English what was happening and was told, “Why of course tomorrow will be the start of the Jewish festival; there will be Jewish music, Jewish, food, etc. It is very popular every year and thousands of people from all over Poland will attend.”
I asked if these would be Jewish people and he looked puzzled and repeated that Polish people will be coming.
I couldn’t help but think that it was very nice that Poles wanted to enjoy Jewish music and food, but where were the three million Polish Jews who had been murdered in the Holocaust?
MARION REISS Beit Shemesh The writer is a Holocaust educator and guide.