CELEBRATING THE ANNIVERSARY OF MARCH'68
Thousands of students demonstrating, pupils protesting, brutal beatings and mass arrests across the whole country. Intellectuals persecuted, people with Jewish origins attacked. Empty universities, lost dreams, numerous farewells and one-way tickets. Cruel words uttered by Gomułka that one cannot have two homelands. Emigration of thousands of Polish Jews. Lies printed by the press. Propaganda meetings in the facilities and banners saying “Zionists go to Israel.” Applause combined with the feeling of guilt and shame for the authorities and the country. This was the dramatic reality of March’68.
In Warsaw, Polish Jews left from Gdański Train Station. This fact has been commemorated by the plaque placed on the station’s building and founded by the Shalom Foundation in 1998. The plaque features the words of Henryk Grynberg: they left here more than they had. Every year, to commemorate the March events, people for whom the memory of the then dramas is still vivid, meet at the plaque. A special celebration was the celebration of the 40th anniversary of March’68. As a response to the letter written by Gołda Tencer, General Director of the Shalom Foundation, President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, declared that he was ready to give back Polish citizenship, without any formalities, those who were forced to emigrate from Poland as a consequence of March events. The most important part of the anniversary celebrations organized in 2008 was the three day conference “Jewish March 1968-2008.” March events were also reminded by Krystyna Piotrowska project presented in Zachęta Gallery “Journey Document,” meeting with emigration literature of March’68 organized in Mamele Club. The celebration ended with the screening by the Palace of Culture and Science featuring the memorable and still, after all those years, shocking speech given by Władysław Gomułka.