Preserve Jewish heritage – bishops

Poles should do more to maintain Poland’s synagogues and Jewish cemeteries, according to the Polish bishops’ Commission for Dialogue with Judaism.

Pointing to how 3.5 million Jews lived in Poland prior to the Holocaust, the bishops said: “We often don’t realise that, in our localities and neighbourhoods, Jews lived, worked and created as our elder brothers in faith and our co-citizens.

“Our duty as Christians is to nurture and safeguard their memory and pass it on to our children and grandchildren.”

The bishops’ call, issued on the Polish Church’s annual Judaism Day, comes in the aftermath of the publication of new research showing that at least 11 of the 13 Polish bishops and diocesan administrators who lived in Poland through the Nazi occupation had risked their lives to help Jews hide or flee to safety.

Just 10,000 Jews live in modern Poland.