Friday, July 4, 2014

The Kielce Pogrom, July 4, 1946

Kielce pogrom, Poland, Jewish, police, anti-Semitic, anti-Semitism
Funeral procession for Jews murdered in the Kielce pogrom, July 1946. USHMM, courtesy of Leah Lahav.
On July 1, 1946, a nine-year-old non-Jewish boy, Henryk Blaszczyk, left his home in Kielce, Poland, without informing his parents. When he returned on July 3, in an effort to avoid punishment for wandering off, he told his parents and the police that he had been kidnapped and hidden in the basement of the local Jewish Committee building, which sheltered up to 180 Jews. Even though Henryk's story began to unravel, a large angry crowd gathered outside the building. By the end of July 4, civilians, soldiers, and police had killed 42 Jews and injured 40 others. Two non-Jews were also killed in the violence.

We remember the Kielce pogrom 68 years later, and the precarious situation in which Jews found themselves in Eastern Europe after the Holocaust. 77,000 Jews left Poland in the three months after the pogrom.

You can learn more about this from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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