Thursday, April 8, 2010

News Updates: "I miss you, Jew!" - Gazeta Wyborcza, 21.03.2010

I MISS YOU, JEW! - a new campaign organized by a Polish artist Rafal Betlejewski all across the coutry. University of Warsaw demands changing the slogan of the campaign to "less controversial".

Rafal Betlejewski has been traveling for the last month and photographing those who would like to express their feeling of missing of Polish Jews, who perished or left Poland and are not here in anymore. Three events were organized so far where a group photo was taken - in Poznan, at the Gdanski Train Station in Warsaw (where the Jews departed Poland from in 1968) and in Grodzisk Mazowiecki (near Warsaw). Hundreds of people reminisce the Jews of Poland on the website ("I miss".com).
Another event was supposed to be organized at the Warsaw University, where one inspired student of UW, Bartosz Zurawski wanted to commemorate Zygmunt Bauman (father of liquid modernity theory). A group photo was to be taken around an empty chair, which would symbolize prof. Bauman. Bauman was one among few thousand Warsaw Jewish intelligentsia members that had to leave Poland after the antisemitic demonstrations of 1968 organized by the Communist government.

However, the University of Warsaw gave the permission for holding the event only few days before the scheduled date, and it was hard to spread the news around the capital in such a short time so the event was cancelled - says Betlejewski. At the same time UW authorities suggested that the word "Jew" in the main slogan isn't "very fortunate". The Chancellor of the University, Jerzy Pieszczurykow, informed the media through his spokesperson that it was just a suggestion that Mr. Betlejewski could or could not use. He said that he remembers 1968 very well and he knows very well the atmosphere of those days and he would rather see a more "collective" slogan, embracing all the groups that had to leave in 1968.

Piotr Pazinski, the General Editor of Jewish monthly "Midrasz" commented:
"I will say ironically that thanks to unprecedented and unchallenged reaction of the University authorities which does not subject itself to political correctness, in a true spirit of pluralism opened the doors to all the people who are missed, not only the Jews. I will miss a wise, open-minded and friendly authorities of my home Institute of Philosophy, and especially my professor, who really took care of me and made sure that my possible scientific achievements were not contaminated too much with the spirit of Hebrew prophets. "

In addition, Betlejewski put up graffiti all over Warsaw saying "I miss you Jew!"(A picture of one of the graffitis is available on the website with the original link). Many people saw it as an antisemitic slogan and in some cases the word "Jew" was erased by the locals leaving simple "I miss you".

For the original link, click here

1 comment:

  1. Mr Betlejewski was the best think that happen in Poland, with the slogan I MISS YOU JEW he wake op and open and informed the Polish nation what a significant role the Polish Jews played in 1000 years history in Poland.