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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Video: Two Polish Skinheads Find Out They're Jewish--And Then...

Outside The Beltway has a post about Polish Neo-Nazis Discover That They’re Jewish
This, my friends, is what you call irony:
(Sept. 25) — Two Polish neo-Nazis who were childhood sweethearts and later became skinheads have discovered what for them is a shocking family secret: They’re actually Jewish.
Whoops.
Well, yeah--that is ironic. But the problem is that while OTB stops here, there actually is more to the story:
Pawel and Ola, identified only by their first names, are the subject of a CNN documentary about Poles rediscovering their Jewish roots generations after their ancestors hid their religious identities to escape persecution during World War II.

A few years ago, Ola found out from Warsaw's Jewish Historical Institute that both she and her husband are technically Jews. "It was unbelievable -- it turned out that we had Jewish roots. It was a shock," she said.

At the time, she and Pawel were active in Warsaw's neo-Nazi movement. "I was a nationalist 100 percent. Back then when we were skinheads it was all about white power... that Jews were the biggest plague and the worst evil of this world," Pawel said.
So now you're probably wondering--nu, what happened?
I thought you'd never ask:
Both 33, they've now embraced their Jewish identity and are active in their local orthodox synagogue.
Here is a small excerpt from the CNN documentary--more details on the story are on the CNN site here.

By the way, I knew Chief Rabbi of Michael Schudrich, quoted in the excerpt below, when I was studying at Columbia--a fact I mentioned back in 2006, when I posted about an article he wrote about Poland and the Jews.



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