Bialystok Refuses To Honor Jewish Son

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The Bialystok city council refused to honor a UNESCO-sponsored “Zamenhof Year” next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death the Jew Ludwik Zamenhof (1859-1917), who invented the international language Esperanto spoken by a million people, AFP reported.

The conservative ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) who voted against the idea said that Esperanto is a dead, useless language and the city prefers to celebrate next year’s 150th anniversary of the birth of Josef Pilsudski (1867-1935), the person most responsible for the creation of the Second Republic of Poland in 1918, 123 years after it was taken over by Russia, Austria and Prussia.

Zbigniew Nikiforowicz from the opposition told AFP that the decision was due to “an unfavorable stance inside PiS towards anything that is not ethnically Polish” and also slammed the “growth in Catholic nationalism” which “would like to forget about the history of Bialystok, a city almost half-Jewish in the 19th century and until World War II.”



  1. Bialystok was in Podlachia, a “Litvak” district, with Lithuanian and even Russian elements predominant. If was also a Jewish city (Jewish majority), and even the Hasidim were the most Litvish of all Hasidim (eg, the phenomenal Slonimer, who almost singularly retained close ties with the Vilna Gaon). The Poles, when they grabbed the area, vehemently oppressed non-Polish, non-Catholic elements. Its Jews were among the earliest to emigrate en masse to USA and Israel. I’m sure the bigots wouldn’t think of honoring other Biaolystoker luminaries: besides the outstanding Rabbonim (Meir Simkhah Hacohen, Shmuel Moholiver, and the first Slonim and Kobrin admorim); Zvi Klementinovsky (founded Jewish National Library, now sunken into Hebrew U.), Yigal Yadin, and A. Litvinov (Soviet foreign minister). So the buggers are genetically consistent with their rotten zaydas. But the sludge will disappear, and the gadlus of its Yidn will endure.

  2. While I agree that this decision was probably anti semitic, I would also have to agree with the fact that Esperanto is nothing to celebrate. It is a dead language that essentially served no purpose in the end.
    But at least we can still eat Bialys:)


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