On Thursday, January 19, 2023, an open lecture related to Polish-Israel relations took place in the walls of the University of Social and Media Culture in Toruń. The main guest of the event was Dr. Yacow Livne, Israel’s ambassador to Poland.
The topic of the lecture was “Basics of building good relations between the Polish and Israeli nations.” The invited guests focused on threads related to the Jewish nation over the years.
The Israel’s ambassador referred to the similarities between the followers of Christianity, Catholics, and followers of Judaism. He noted that people remembering the crimes committed against the Jewish minority, which had already been committed before, still constantly recall, and return to those moments while paying homage to the victims.
We have a new generation of politicians and leaders. I am extremely happy that there are so many young people in the audience. We cannot see the future of our Jewish brothers without the Polish nation side by side, said Dr. Yacow Livne.
Our main speaker referred to the figure of our great compatriot, St. Pope John Paul II. His great merits and friendships with representatives of Judaism were praised. He mentioned the crimes committed by the Germans, such as the events of World War II, the Holocaust, and their consequences.
The murders of the Jewish minority and the spread of anti-Semitism in the 20th century is the darkest chapter in history that we must remember and understand. Mutual understanding is important, and I hope that the future government will continue this tradition, said the Israeli ambassador to Poland.
Then spoke prof. Przemysław Czarnek, Minister of Education and Science, who also referred to the extermination of Jews by the Germans. He noted that the camps located in Poland are not Polish at all.
Auschwitz is a symbol of German culture on Polish soil. The only reason we keep it here is to show the whole world that there was a war here. No more cruelty. (…) History is history and it will not change. However, there may be a different narrative or its interpretation, so it is important to pay attention to where the information comes from – emphasized the head of the Ministry of Education and Science.
Krzysztof Ardanowski, deputy chairman of the Polish Israeli parliamentary group, spoke about the importance of creating international ties. Involvement in cultural events is also a form of commemoration of the Holocaust.
I am convinced that the events in which we participate, related to the Jewish nation, such as the March of the Living, are all events that should involve us, Poles, and strengthen our relations with the Jewish nation, which is necessary, pointed out the deputy to the Sejm of the Republic of Poland.
The last speaker of the meeting was prof. Wojciech Polak from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, deputy chairman of the College of the Institute of National Remembrance. He stressed the importance of common dialogue during emerging crises, as well as the presence of truth.
There must be foundations for dialogue. It is worth mentioning that the attitude of anti-Semitism is incompatible with the essence of man. In Germany, there are acts of hatred against Poles, which can be dangerous for us. Dialogue is needed, and above all the truth – summed up prof. Wojciech Polak.
At the end, a discussion panel was held, during which Dr. Yacow Livne answered questions from the audience. The issue of protecting Jewish youth, who receive appropriate security measures, was also mentioned. The most important thing is that information is reliably checked and shared. It was emphasized that the danger to the Jews did not come from Poles, but from staunch anti-Semites.
The lecture was organized by the University of Social and Media Culture in Toruń, the Regional Center for International Debate in Toruń and the “Memory and Identity” Institute of St. John Paul II.
AKSiM Press Team