Kielce, Poland was the site of Europe’s last Jewish pogrom—in 1946. The militia, soldiers and ordinary townspeople killed over 40 Holocaust survivors seeking shelter in a downtown building, injuring 80 more. As news of the pogrom spread across Poland, Jews fled the country. The Kielce pogrom became a symbol of Polish post-war anti-Semitism in the Jewish world. Under communism, the pogrom was a forbidden subject in Poland, but it was never forgotten.
In a free Poland, Bogdan Białek, a Catholic Pole, journalist and psychologist, emerges to talk publicly about the issue. Over time, with great effort, he persuades the people of Kielce to confront this painful history. Beginning as a solitary figure, he confronts the deepest prejudices in his fellow citizens, and strives to reconnect Kielce with the outside Jewish community. The effort costs him dearly. “Bogdan’s Journey” was filmed in Poland, Israel and the United States for almost a decade. Its two directors, a Polish Catholic and a Jewish American, combine to tell a unique story about one man and how he redeems 70 years of bitter, contested memories--by telling the truth with love.
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