Bishop Għdecki about Jedwabne
"I agree with Rabbi Schudrich"
[The following is an unofficial translation by Peter K. Gessner of Institute's statement as published in the Warsaw-based daily Gazeta Wyborcza on March 15, 2001. -- A large collections of Polish language articles published about Jedwabne by the Warsaw daily, Rzeczpospolita can be reached by clicking on the banner.]
On Thursday Bishop Stanis³aw Għdecki said that "The words of Rabbi Schudrich, namely 'A time has come such that, if we Jews wish that the Poles feel and understand our pain, then we also must understand and feel the pain of the Poles.' are crucial to the resolution of the matter of Jedwabne and for Christian-Jewish relations."
Bishop Għdecki is the head of the Polish Episcopate's Council in Matters of Religious Dialog. He further cited the words of the Rabbi with which he agrees: "what it comes to is that so long as we, who live here, don't percive ourselves as friends, then everybody will have access to the manipulation of our immagination and the creation of realities useful to their ends."
- Whenthe Rabbi says that he cannot vouch that in the world there is not even one Jew who would use the Holocaust instumentally, he states matters with unusual straightforwardness, admits, that just as among the Poles, so also among Jews there are not only the rightious and brilliant, but there also indfferent individuals - said Bishop Għdecki.
Of enormous importance to him is also the Rabbi's statement that "accusing the Poles of participation in the Holocaust is a sin." According to the Bishop, Poles soeluctantly react rto the whole matter of the Holocaust, not because they are ignorant of the principle that who is guilty has to assume responsability, but because the liability of a small group of Polish criminals is extended upon the whole nation - The words of the Rabbi indicate that he has a sober view of the whole matter and calm Polish opinion.
According to the Bishop, of great import are also the words: "We Jews have to admit that there have been such Jews in the service of the Communists or even Hitlerites who have committed crimes against Poles and also against Jews." - That's a radically different stand than in the book Neighbors by Jan Tomasz Gross, which narrows the perspective to just the Jewish one, and yet the problem of Jedwabne touches on four sides Poles, Jews, Germans, and Russians - commented Bishop Għdecki.
But the Bishop pointed to several remaks of the Rabbi which "cause some doubts and maybe should be explained." He refers among other to the tekst from the 21st chapter of the Book of the Repeated Law, that the Rabbi quotes, explaining the manner in which Poles can ask for forgivenessm, which according to the Bishop does not suit the Jedwabne matter - In the fragment cited by Schudrich there is talk of releaving of responsability the town nearest to the body of the muredered individual if it is not know who committed the crime. I think the Rabbi shows good intensions, but his interpretation does not fit Jedwabne, since it deals with a totally unknown prepetrators of the murder - said Bishop Għdecki.
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