The Memory of Kielce, Poland and Beyond, a docufilm of hope, healing, forgiveness and learning curve.
A well-made Polish-American collaboration docufim that was screened this week, in a pick review, in Beverly Hills, California, pokes deep into the past of the residents of the Polish town Kielce and the Polish nation as a whole.
The story begins with the cruel murder of 40 and the injuring of 80 Holocaust survivors, by the local Polish people, who, at the end of the Holocaust, in 1946, came back to what they knew to be their hometown. The story ends with the beginning of reconciliation when one man, Bogdan Bialek, slowly persuades the people of Kielce to confront the truth about one of the darkest moments of their past.
Kielce is known to be the site of Europe’s last Jewish Pogrom.
Antisemitism is a negative sentiment that people hold for Jews that have no reason and no explanation. Anti-Semitism sentiments and actions erupt when society finds itself in darkness and a state of confusion.
Libels against Jews have been common from time immemorial. We can start with the Christians’ libel, blaming the Jews to be the murderers of Jesus. In this docufilm’s libel case, the rumor was that the Holocaust surviving Jews, who found first refuge in Kielce, kidnapped a local Polish non-Jew child. This libel, blaming Jews wrongly, ends up with gruesome murders.
This high quality cinematography docufilm can be a key tool for building a new understanding between Jews and Poles, a country its 3 million Jewish population perished in a systematic murder during WWII.
Though society as a whole is fully responsible for allowing a collective crime, like the Kielce Pogrom, take place, only some, those who perpetrated the crimes, are to be blamed.
One can say that an entire society must watch and learn from this docuflm; that we, as a civilized society, must take from Bogdan’s journey to learn what we have not learned to do well, reflect on the past, no matter how repulsive and deplorable it is, admit the ugly truth and find the way to heal the done and build a solid front so the same never happens again.
Looking at the world today, seeing how the Jewish state, Israel, is being treated and again the rise of Antisemitism sentiments in the West, Bogdan’s Journey affirms that our learning curve is at default.
Go see this teachable moment docufilm and take a heed from people’s behavior gone so wrong.