April 8, 1996
The Polish community in the United States objects strenuously to your showing of "Shtetl" scheduled for April 17.
To say that the program is in connection with National Holocaust Remembrance Week is a travesty.
The program contains historical inaccuracies, contradictions, breeds hatred and promotes interethnic conflict between Polish Catholics and Jews. What is even more astonishing, the producer involved the youth of Israel in his "Project Hate against Poles."
A recent interview with the 20-year old Polish historian Zbigniew Romaniuk who had a passion for preserving the history of Jews in the Bransk area reveals his evaluation of the film and its possible affect on those who view it. He has tried to contact the filmmaker Marian Marzynski who refuses to answer his letters and phone calls. I urge you to delay the showing of this film so you can benefit from an evaluation of the film from the point of view of those who know Polish history and those who have been involved in Polish- Jewish relationships.
My sense from the number of phone calls I have received in the past few days from across the United States reveals anger on the part of Poles and Polish Americans who have contributed to PBS and who will do what they have to make themselves heard.
I would appreciate your acknowledgment of this communication.
A California resident
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