The Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Jewish Studies Program and the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland are hosting a film screening of Dworzec Gdanski and a panel discussion to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1968 student riots and anti-Semitic campaign in Poland.
The event will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 8th, in the university’s Ahmanson Auditorium on the Westchester campus, 1 LMU Drive.
A large student riot at Warsaw University on March 8th, 1968 instigated many other riots and strikes at Polish universities, according to a basic history of the riots provided by the event planners.
The initial riot occurred as a result of Communist authorities closing the play Dziady, which in Polish translates to “The Ghosts.” It was considered anti-Russian and a call to arms against Soviet rule.
Many students were imprisoned with brutal force and the government instigated a virulent anti-Jewish campaign.
The riots began several months after the Arab-Israeli 1967 war, where Soviet-backed Arab forces faced humiliating losses, according to event organizers.
The Communist Party used the students uprising to accuse Polish Jews of disloyalty. As a result, about 20,000 Jews were required to leave Poland and have their citizenship taken away.
Dworzec Gdanski — Gdanski Railway Station in Polish — was where many Polish Jews left Warsaw and is the name given to the film showing on this occasion.
Polish journalist Teresa Toranska, a participant in the 1968 events, wrote the screenplay for the documentary, according to the Internet Movie Database, Imdb.com/.
After the screening, a panel discussion on the 1968 occurrences and the film will be moderated by Professor Holli Levitsky, director of Jewish Studies at LMU and the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Poland from 2001-2002. Levitsky will also provide a brief chronology of the events.
The panelists include Feliks Cieszynski and Jozef Sobelman, who were forced to emigrate from Poland and now live in the Los Angeles area. Professor of engineering Bohdan W. Oppenheim will also speak, giving his perspective as one of the student rioters.
The Honorable Paulina Kapuscinska, Consul General of the Republic of Poland, will welcome guests and provide the evening’s introduction.
Information, (310) 442-8500 ext. 109.