Belief Beat

Mourning for Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the dozens of other victims of Saturday’s plane crash has brought together Poland’s Catholics and Jews, groups that haven’t shared the happiest history. In fact, Jewish leaders have called Kaczynski a “friend to Israel,” and today’s March of the Living at Auschwitz, which takes place every Yom Hashoah (the annual Jewish Holocaust commemoration), will include a tribute to him. Related stories:

In the United States, most Yom Hashoah activities took place yesterday, on the actual date of the observance. They included educational events and memorial ceremonies at Holocaust museums and synagogues, plus a new version of The Diary of Anne Frank on PBS (check your listings for reruns this week, if you missed it).

Speaking of Yom Hashoah and Poland, Frank Blaichman, 87, was the keynote speaker at the Upper West Side Synagogues’ commemoration event in New York last night, detailing his experiences as platoon commander in the sole Jewish-only partisan group in Poland during the Holocaust. His book, “Rather Die Fighting: A Memoir of World War II,” came out recently. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but given that I appreciated “Defiance” and “Inglourious Basterds” — films that depict Jews actively resisting the horrors of the Holocaust — I’ll probably get around to it at some point.

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