The long history of Polish Jews is an inseparable part of history in Poland. The tragic and murderous events, degenerate ideologies destroyed the prominent and unique Yiddish language culture existing until the 1940s. This rich cultural inheritance obligates us today as residents of the same country and community to remember this remarkable legacy. It is no coincidence that Warsaw was chosen to be the place of our FESTIVAL. It is not only the place where we were born and have lived. Warsaw had the second largest concentration of Jews after New York until World War Two. Warsaw was a place of full- blown culture for Polish Jews, creating many avenues of creativity beside the Yiddish Polish language. The former world of the Yiddish civilization is gone forever. We see however, that there is a great need for education; a growing need for learning about their similar past heritage is necessary for both the Polish and Jewish people. This is the new generation who will create the current Jewish Polish reality. So we believe that the FESTIVAL will be an awakening, bringing the present, traditional Jewish culture to all those interested, while remaining in a strong voice in multicultural family of European and world nations. Today I amonce again pleased to invite you to explore Jewish life and culture in all its richness on the screen. I hope you will find inspiration in the films that offer a profound insight into the past and present of the Jewish community.
Daniel Strehlau, Warsaw, November 2003