Lech Walesa, former Polish president

Former Polish President Says He Regrets He is Not Jewish

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Former Polish President Lech Walesa wrote on his Facebook page that he regrets he is not Jewish and that there are no Jewish members of his family.

He noted in the April 26th Facebook post that if he were younger he would “fix this mistake.”

Lech Walesa in Poland is known for his activity on the Internet, where he has a blog and where he publishes his own content on his social media accounts, something for which he has been criticized after oversharing vacation photos and other personal posts. A few months ago, he started a Facebook page.

Last week, one of the page’s followers asked Walesa whether he is Jewish, explaining that he understood that Walesa’s real name is Lejb Kohne.

Walesa denied that he is Jewish. “In my family there was no Jewish blood, which I accept with regret,” he wrote. “If I was single and younger I would fix this historic mistake.” He also assured those reading the post that he is not circumcised, which “can be checked.”

“I would like to be a part of the Chosen People but I am not,” the post said.

In comments in response to his post some said that Walesa does not need to clarify his religion. Another wrote that “if we are all descended from Adam and Eve, we are all Jews.” There is also a comment that criticized Walesa, saying that if he would like to belong to the Chosen People he is not proud of being Polish. Another comment said: “Go to Israel.”

When Walesa competed in Poland’s presidential elections in 1990 he suggested that his opponent, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, was Jewish. This reportedly was done in order to discredit Mazowiecki in the eyes of the voters. Mazowiecki presented a certificate from a bishop that showed his family had been Catholic since the fifteenth century. Nevertheless, Mazowiecki’s election posters were vandalized with Stars of David, and people gathered at election rallies shouted “Walesa for president! Down with the Jews and Mazowiecki!”

Walesa was president of Poland from 1990 to 1995. In 1983, he received the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting communism.


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