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linia 2013-11-25 FORBES'S APOLOGY

We invite you to read the apology and corrections published by the Polish edition of the Forbes magazine in relation to the articled contained in its September (9/2013) edition.

 Apology

The editors of Forbes would like to state the following regarding the articles which were published in the monthly Forbes (9/2013) entitled “Who are our leaders?,” “Jewish accusation,” and “Kaddish for a million bucks.”

We regret that the above mentioned articles contained invalid claims regarding the activities of institutions and individuals described therein, claims which were detrimental to the property and heritage of Poland’s Jewish community. In particular we apologize for the publication of information suggesting the following activities: that the individuals named in the articles reaped personal benefit from the activities of Jewish organizations in Poland; that the restituted Jewish cemeteries in Torun, Gliwice and Lublin were sold contrary to the principles of Jewish tradition and that there was no settling of accounts of the funds allocated for preservation of Jewish heritage.

Once more, we apologize to the entire Jewish community in Poland for the published insinuations distinguishing “true” Jews and “fake” ones, as well as for the assertion that “there are scarcely any true Jews” amongst the leaders of Jewish organizations. It was neither the editorial staff’s nor the author’s intention to assign values to members of the Jewish community.

 In particular we would like to apologize to the following individuals and institutions: Mr. Michael Schudrich – Chief Rabbi of Poland, Ms. Monika Krawczyk, Mr. Piotr Kadlčik, Mr. Andrzej Zozula, Ms. Alicja Kobus, Mr. Tadeusz Jakubowicz, Mr. Piotr Rytka – Zandberg, as well as the authorities of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland, the authorities and members of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland and the Jewish Religious Community of Warsaw
 
The editorial staff of Forbes and its publisher Ringier Axel Springer Polska Sp. z o.o.


Corrections to the article "Kaddish for a Million Bucks"

In the article “Kaddish for a Million Bucks,” written by Wojciech Surmacz with the collaboration of Nissan Tzur and published in August 2013 in Forbes magazine (no. 9/2013) as well as on the website www.forbes.pl, the reader was presented with the following erroneous or imprecise information which requires correction:


1. It is not true that real estate representing part of the assets recovered by the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland or the Jewish Religious Community of Warsaw was sold below market value. Every sale of real estate, if matters come to such a transaction, is based on relevant documentation including an appraisal of the given property. The synagogue in Otwock was sold at a price set by external real estate professionals which reflected its poor physical state and its not being fit for use.
 
2. It is not true that cemeteries in Torun, Lublin and Gliwice were sold by the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland. Jewish Communities do not liquidate any parts of restituted Jewish property which according to Jewish law or custom require special care or protection.
 
3. The former hospital in Siedlce which the Community sold had stood vacant for several years and was in a state of complete ruin at the time of its restitution. The object also was not listed as a landmark on the national heritage registry. On the other hand, the former Beit Midrash building in Sokolow Podlaski, long before ownership rights were recovered by the Community, had been stripped of all signs that it had once been a place of prayer and had been converted for residential and commercial use. Irrespective of this, the property was also in very poor technical condition.
 
4. Comments in the article regarding the sale of Jewish real estate, attributed to Mr. Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, which were said to have been part of a conversation with Nissan Tzur are false. Rabbi Michael Schudrich never said such words.
 
5. It is not true that Ms. Monika Krawczyk uttered the words attributed to her at the beginning of the article. Ms. Krawczyk never stated such words or similar ones; nor did she ever ‘jest’ in such a manner.  
 
6. Mr. Piotr Kadlčik is not, nor has he ever been the president of the Save the Jewish Cemeteries of Lublin Foundation, nor has he ever played a part in its governance. To the best of our knowledge, the funds donated by the Jewish Religious Community of Warsaw were disposed by the Foundation in accordance with its statutes as is confirmed in the financial statements filed annually by the Foundation.
 
7. The information that “Piotr Kadlčik's home was equipped with an up-to-date central heating system for 20,000 zlotys from restitution money” is false. The contractor for the works testified in court that the renovations were paid for with Mr. Piotr Kadlčik's personal funds
 
8. The board of the Jewish Religious Community in Warsaw undertook the decision to rent the “Bar Mykwa” without the participation of Piotr Kadlčik, who excluded himself from the decision process.
 
9. The Board of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland has no knowledge regarding any unauthorized offer to sell the synagogue in Dzialoszyce by a member of the authorities of the Jewish Religious Community of Katowice; all the more so since that Community is not the property’s owner.
 
10. The claim that Nissan Tzur was not accepted to be a member of the Jewish Religious Community of Warsaw for discretionary reasons is false. Nissan Tzur sent an email asking to become a member, but never submitted a formal application to become one.
 
11. The allegation that the Jewish Religious Community of Warsaw has arbitrarily limited anyone’s entry in membership is false. Legal regulations require that those seeking membership in Jewish communities have Polish citizenship and reside within the territory of the Republic of Poland.
 
12. It is not true that the World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) and the World Jewish Congress (WJC) took half of the recovered assets. The monies paid to WJRO were repayments of a loan from WJRO.
 
13. It is not true that Mr. Jakub Szadaj was removed from the governance of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland for providing the transcripts described in the article to the media or that he protested against the contract with the World Jewish Restitution Organization. He was not present at the negotiation of such contract.
 
14. It is not true that any Jewish community or the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland has lodged any claims regarding property beyond the Bug river.
 
15. It is not true, as FORBES cited from the Jewish Times, that Jewish Communities were formed in order to lay claims to Jewish property. Jewish Communities came into being by virtue of the provisions of the law governing Judaic Religious Congregations which was already in force when the law governing relations of the State with Jewish religious communities in the Republic of Poland was enacted.

Piotr Kadlčik, President of the Board of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in the Republic of Poland
Monika Krawczyk, Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland
Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland

Link to the text (in Polish)

Link to the text (in Polish)

English translation 

 



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