Polin Lodge celebrated the fifth anniversary of its re-establishment, a re-establishment after the Holocaust. We need to remember that towards the end of the 1930's there were ten lodges in Poland with more than a thousand members.
We were warmly welcomed by the Jewish community in Cracow at an Erev Shabbat Kiddush and dinner and an evening full of song. On the following day we visited the Jewish quarter and in the evening were royally entertained by a superb Klezmer concert.
The ceremony on Sunday, October 14, was most moving. Polin Lodge has about 45 members and they meet once a month. The guests included:
> Ralph Hofmann, president of B'nai B'rith Europe, accompanied by his wife Simone Hofmann
> Erika van Gelder, senior vice president of B'nai B'rith Europe
> Witold Zyss, accompanied by his wife Isabelle
> Michel Zaki, with his wife Tania
> Nathaniel, a member of Daniel Pearl Lodge.
Renée Samanovy gave a talk, recalling that during the 1930's there were 10 lodges in Poland with over 1,000 members. B'nai B'rith was outlawed in Poland in 1938 by a special decree of the Polish President, Ygnacy Mascicki, that Cracow contained the largest Jewish community of Poland and the oldest of Europe. She reminded the audience of the Nazi reign of terror and that it was in Cracow that all the anti-Jewish legislation was formulated. The event also included concluding remarks by Serge Dahan, president of B'nai B'rith France.
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