Jew Hatred in Poland
By Micah Halpern
Saturday November 20, 2021
Last week there was a 4 hour long anti-Semitic rally in Kalisz, Poland.
The city of Kalisz is located in the southern part of Poland. This location is telling and is hugely important for a rally celebrating Polish independence combined with Jew hatred.
In 1264, Boleslav I, known as Boleslav the Pious, issued the first charter officially welcoming Jews to the region. One hundred years later that charter was expanded by Casimir the Great.
On the eve of the Holocaust, during the interwar period, Jews constituted 30% of the city of Kalisz. There were over 20,000 Jews residing in the city. After the war, roughly 500 Jews survived and returned to Kalisz.
In July of 1946 a letter of ultimatum was sent to the Jews of Kalisz to leave the city or suffer worse consequences than the Jews of Kielce.
What happened in Kielce? On July 4, 1946 - after the war - a pogrom took place in Kielce murdering 46 Jews and injuring 40 others. These Jews survived the horrors of Hitler and came home to Kielce, only to be murdered.
Kalisz threatened their Jews and told them that the same fated awaited them as the Jews of Kielce. Almost every Jew left Kalisz.
The organizers of the rally to honor Polish independence selected the city of Kalisz as the site of this rally to make a point. It was a move to challenge the legacy of Boleslav and of Casimir and to remind Poles of the plan to get rid of the Jews of Poland.
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