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Edelman, as always, in Polin

Witold Bereś

On April 27, the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, was the venue of the launch of the English edition of Marek Edelman biography, Marek Edelman: Being on the Right Side, by Witold Bereś and Krzysztof Burnetko.

The meeting, hosted in Polish (with simultaneous translation to English provided) with zest and intelligence by Katarzyna Janowska  attracted nearly 100 guests (all received personal invitations), including representatives of the diplomatic corps, the media and culture, as well as of the Jewish community.

The successful evening would not have happened had it not been for the kind hospitality of the Polin Museum, which has supported different related initiatives related to Marek Edelman many times before.

In a letter written for the occasion, Prof. Dariusz Stola, head of the Polin museum said that “The life of Marek Edelman could suffice for many biographies. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews not only remembers him as a fighter of the Warsaw Ghetto but continues to commemorate the uprising in a fashion similar to what Marek Edelman did—he would leave yellow daffodils at the footsteps of the Ghetto Heroes Monument every year on the day of uprising anniversary. Today the museum volunteers give away 50,000 yellow daffodils (made of paper) on the streets of Warsaw.

“The Museum also was the venue of the launch of the English edition of a book about Marek Edelman, which turned out to be both artistic and educational success. This is why I’m more than happy to welcome the English edition. I’m sure that this fast-paced story will win many readers and help understand this towering personality as well as the dramatic history of the Polish Jews in the 20th century.”

In turn, Father Wiesław Dawidowski, member of the Polish-Jewish Dialogue Committee at the Polish Episcopate said that “Marek Edelman is one of those names in the Polish-Jewish history which one can not be indifferent to and which is difficult to classify through simple definitions. He was born in Poland and he tied his life to the life of Poland despite historic complications. And although he himself did not believe in the eternal flame of life, what he believed in was a human with hunger for life in his or her eyes. With this, Edelman was the best spokesperson for human dignity, and a man who, although made it clear he did not believe in God, was much closer to Him than many people who so promptly speak His name.

“I still regret that I never met Marek Edelman in person. But we can find him alive in this breathtaking book,” Father Dawidowski said.

At the meeting was also Artur Tarnowski, general director of KGHM, Polish copper extracting holding.

The meeting was followed by a cocktail party.