Warsaw residents join Sabbath dinner to mark anniversary of start of World War II


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – Warsaw residents participated in a Sabbath dinner to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.

Gołda Tencer, the director of the Jewish Theater and the Shalom Foundation, organized a Sabbath dinner held on Friday night for the inhabitants of Warsaw on the square in the center of Polish capital. A few hundred people, mostly non-Jews, took part and for most it was the first time they ever sat at a Jewish Sabbath table.

Among the guests was David D’or, an Israeli singer; Krystyna Willenberg, the wife of Samuel Willenberg, a Treblinka survivor who died last year; and representatives of the Righteous Among the Nations, non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust.

“On September 1, 1939, 78 years ago, World War II broke out. Just like today, it was Friday,” Tencer said during the evening. “When the Polish Jews sat down to the Sabbath dinner in the evening, they had to feel fear, but none of them could have foreseen that the end of their world would begin that day. Let us remember them today at this Sabbath dinner, and remember them always.”

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Next to the square where the Sabbath dinner was held, the building of the Jewish Theater had stood. It was demolished earlier this year. A modern skyscraper will be built in its place. “There is not our building today, but the dybbuks of that place are coming with us,” Tencer said.

The Jewish Theater in Warsaw is one of two theaters in Europe, as well as the theater in Bucharest, which performs in Yiddish. It was formed in 1950.

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