Tag Archives: neo-Nazis

Neo-Nazi Karma

By Niv Elis

In what must be a neo-Nazi’s worst nightmare, two Polish skinheads (a married couple) discovered that they are, in fact, Jewish.

Joining the ranks of unwitting self-haters like Ted Haggard,  Ken Mehlman, and the fictional Danny Balint, Pawel and Olga (whose last names were not given) are now the subject of a new CNN documentary.  The documentary details how the couple, who have become active members of an orthodox synagogue, are dealing with the contradiction.

Despite some serious soul searching, Pawel seems to have taken friendly advice against beating himself up over his past.

“It’s not something that I walk around and lash myself over… I feel sorry for those that I beat up.”

Setting aside the glory of karmic justice, the compelling story offers a fascinating peak into how people deal with challenges to their identity and worldview.  You can watch a clip from the documentary below:

The Jews of Modern Poland

By Symi Rom-Rymer

The New York Times recently published a piece recently about a former Polish neo-Nazi who discovered his Jewish roots as an adult and is now ultra-Orthodox.  As he acknowledges in the article, “he was drawn to extremes.”

Pawel’s (now Pinchas’) story is certainly engrossing.  Not only do we learn that he has Jewish roots, but that his grandparents, who are still living, are Jewish and hid their religion from him so that he would not exposed to anti-Semitism.  Moreover, his wife (also a former skinhead), also comes from a Jewish family and both of their families are from the same Jewish community.   His journey from skinhead to Orthodox Jew, then, tells both his personal story as well as that of contemporary Poland and how truly intertwined Jewish and Polish communities are just below the surface. Continue reading