section Break or continuity? "Anti-Zionism" and anti-Semitism under socialism and afterwards


  • Maria Zmarz-Koczanowic
  • PL
  • 2007
  • 55

Jewish emigrants from Poland regularly come together in Ashkelon for the Reunion ’68 gathering. In interviews they recall how, in the 1960s, the pressure on Jews in the People's Republic of Poland gradually increased and eventually drove them out of the country.

They come to the Israeli port city from all corners of the globe; the paths their lives have taken are completely different. Whilst for some the memories are fading, others still remember exactly when their train departed Gdansk station in Warsaw in 1968 and what flowers they received as a goodbye. In interviews Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz asks about the time before, during and after they departed and illustrates the accounts with film archive material. Past and present-day footage of the train station round off the image of this place, one which has proven to be fateful for all of them. Here – like thousands of fellow Jews – they had to leave forever the country they had hitherto called home. The loss still brings tears to their eyes. From here they all embarked, against their will, on a journey into an uncertain future as the People's Republic of Poland had resolved to no longer offer them any prospects of a brighter future. For decades they had lived as Poles, that was until it was abruptly announced that, as Jews, they were no longer citizens of this country.

Text: Rainer Mende
English: Peter Rickerby



international title GDANSK RAILWAY STATION


JFBB section Break or continuity? "Anti-Zionism" and anti-Semitism under socialism and afterwards

  • director Maria Zmarz-Koczanowic

country/countries PL

year 2007

duration 55

Portrait of Maria Zmarz-Koczanowic

Maria Zmarz-Koczanowic