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Warsaw concert to mark anniversary of 1968 student demos

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 06.03.2018 16:00
A special concert was due to be held at the Warsaw Philharmonic on Tuesday night to mark 50 years since landmark student demonstrations in Poland in March 1968.
The National Philharmonic in Warsaw. Photo: Szczebrzeszynski [Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsThe National Philharmonic in Warsaw. Photo: Szczebrzeszynski [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The nationwide student demonstrations five decades ago became a spark for a power struggle within the communist party and triggered a government-orchestrated anti-Semitic campaign that eventually forced up to 20,000 Polish Jews to leave the country.

The Warsaw Philharmonic concert was expected to include the performance of composer Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto by Danish violinist Nikolay Znaider, whose father left Poland in the wake of the events of March 1968.

In another highlight, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by its Music Director Jacek Kaspszyk, was scheduled to perform Mieczysław Wajnberg’s Fourth Symphony during the concert.

The event was also expected to feature a presentation of photographs documenting the events 50 years ago, in addition to the presentation of a historic violin that was owned by Leonid Spiro, a former member of the Warsaw Philharmonic who was forced to emigrate to Israel in the late 1960s.

The concert in the Polish capital was expected to open a series of projects commemorating the events of 1968, which began on March 8 with a student demonstration at the University of Warsaw. The demo was broken up by busloads of thugs and police reservists who poured across the campus to attack the students.

Other projects designed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the events of March 1968 include meetings with the leaders and participants of the demonstrations and strikes by students, many of whom later left Poland for Israel, the United States, Canada and other countries.

A wide range of debates, exhibitions, theatre productions and concerts is planned to take place in eight Polish cities over the next two weeks to mark the anniversary.


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