Thursday, December 21, 2023

A Polish Politician Extinguishes a Hanukkah Menorah. What do you do when the worst stereotypes seem to be true?


A Polish Politician Extinguishes a Hanukkah Menorah
What do you do when the worst stereotypes seem to be true?


Grzegorz Michal Braun is a 56-year-old Polish parliamentarian. On Tuesday, December 12, 2023, Braun used a fire extinguisher to snuff out the candles on a Hanukkah menorah erected in the Polish Parliament, the Sejm (pronounced "Same"). Warsaw Rabbi Shalom Stambler and Deputy Speaker of Parliament Piotr Zgorzelski had lighted the candles. The rabbi was accompanied by two of his children, ages 7 and 11. Chabad Rabbi Stambler has been lighting Hanukkah candles in the Sejm for the past seventeen years.


A Jewish woman, Dr. Magdalena Gudzinska-Adamczyk, physically confronted Braun and attempted to stop him. He sprayed her in her face and she required medical attention. She displayed courage in spite of being a petite woman, smaller than Braun (photo here). She later said, "I have stopped feeling safe in this country." Dr. Gudzinska-Adamczyk also said, "This is my religious symbol, I have the right to defend it, because we live in a free, democratic country. And no one has the right to direct a powder extinguisher in my face because I am defending my religious symbol."


Attempting to justify his crime immediately afterward, Braun said, "Those who take part in acts of satanic worship should be ashamed … There can be no place for the acts of this racist, tribal, wild Talmudic cult on the premises of the Sejm … You are not aware of the message of this act innocently called Hanukkah … I am restoring a state of normality by putting an end to acts of satanic, racist triumphalism because that is the message of these holidays." His statement was booed by other parliamentarians.


Braun's antisemitic vandalism was immediately and widely condemned, including by members of his own party.


"All decent people think exactly the same thing, this is an unacceptable thing, this must never happen again. This is a disgrace," said Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who assumed office on December 13, 2023.


Poland's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich told Reuters by telephone that Braun's actions were not representative of Poland and that he was "embarrassed" by them.


"I declare that I am ashamed and apologize to the entire Jewish community in Poland," said Cardinal Grzegorz Rys.


Mariusz Blaszczak is chairman of the Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc, or Law and Justice Party Parliamentary club. Law and Justice is a right-wing party; it recently lost its parliamentary majority. Blaszczak said that "Braun should be expelled from Confederation," that is, Braun's own party should expel him. "If he is not expelled, it will mean Krzysztof Bosak [the head of Braun's party] stands by him, and he [Bosak] should step down as deputy speaker of the Sejm … There is no justification for the attack because it was an attack on Poland … It is an attack conducted by a man who is either completely irresponsible or someone who acts to the detriment of our country."

American College Students Donate Money to Kill Jews


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

"But there's no Christmas in the Sejm!" falsely claim Polish antisemites

 Krzysztof Bosak is chairman of the party of antisemite and criminal Grzegorz Braun, who recently created a scandal by attacking a Hanukkah menorah in the Sejm, or Polish parliament. Bosak recently complained that there are no Christmas symbols in the Sejm. See screencap above, taken from a video of Braun's demented attack. There is plainly a Christmas tree in the Sejm, very close to the Menorah. 

Polish Antisemites. Braun Copycats and Fans


Vice reports on Pro-Braun antisemitic merch being sold online. See here

Antisemites in Wroclaw vandalize a menorah and burn an Israeli flag. 

"Zone of Interest" 2023 New Holocaust Film by Jonathan Glazer

 "Zone of Interest" is a new Holocaust film by Jonathan Glazer. It focuses on Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Hoess, his family, and their lives as they lived next door to Auschwitz. 

Manohla Dargis wrote a critical review for the New York Times, here

From that review: 

"What is the point of “The Zone of Interest”? I’ve seen Jonathan Glazer’s movie twice, and each time I’ve returned to this question, something that I rarely feel compelled to ask. Movies exist because someone needs or wants to make art, tell a story, drive home a point, defend a cause, expose a wrong or simply make money. All that is clear from what’s onscreen is Glazer has made a hollow, self-aggrandizing art-film exercise set in Auschwitz during the Holocaust."

Another Times article, here, discusses "Zone of Interest" in the context of other Holocaust films. 

The Fish Jelly review here gives a good sense of the film. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Polish Parliamentarian Uses Fire Extinguisher on Hanukah Candles




A far-right Polish lawmaker used a fire extinguisher to put out Hanukkah candles in the country’s parliament on Tuesday during an event with members of the Jewish community ...

Members of the Jewish community, including children, had gone to parliament at speaker Szymon Holownia’s invitation for its annual Hanukkah celebrations.


Grzegorz Braun is a disgrace and all decent Poles are ashamed and condemn this vile act.