Poles rediscover Jewish heritage
September 24th, 2010
02:30 PM ET

Secret Jewish heritage converts neo-Nazi

Editor's Note: CNN's Kristin Cuff files this report from Warsaw, Poland.

Pawel sits in the synagogue learning the Torah, praying and getting advice from his rabbi.

He appears to be enjoying a happy life married to his childhood sweetheart and the mother of his two children.

But he and Ola have traveled further than most - from hate-filled neo-Nazism through the shock and anger of learning their heritage was Jewish to taking their place in the synagogue as Orthodox Jews.

They met at school in Poland's capital, Warsaw, when they were 12 but as their teen years passed Pawel first then Ola grew into the neo-Nazi scene.

At 18 they married and a few years later Ola was nagged by a conversation with her mother that she barely remembered - something about Jewish roots.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Judaism • Neo-Nazi

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. sabratech

    This story aroused so many emotions. If I were a parent and feared the knowledge of being Jewish would hurt my child, what would I do? I think it took great personal strength to make the 180 degree change that this couple made. I hope they find peace and happiness in their lives as Jews. I saw the broadcast. I was moved by the boy whose family was split about moving his grandfather's grave to a Jewish cemetery. I hope the rift in this family will heal. We are all part of the family of Man and many of us seek pathways to God. We seek them in different ways. All are good if they are really searching for God and justice for humanity.

    January 4, 2011 at 1:49 am |
  2. peace2all

    To read about people who have been so absolutely righteous in their hatred towards someone or a group of people, and to make the decision to turn their lives around and stop the hate and spread peace and acceptance is truly a great story, in my opinion.


    September 27, 2010 at 2:27 am |
  3. Frank

    I'll admit: I used to be into National Socialism years ago. I was a very angry person and I just directed it at certain groups of people. I still have anger and other issues but spirituality has helped me with that. I have started to follow Christ once again and already I feel a bit more at peace inside. Not as chaotic.
    God bless Pawel and his family.

    September 26, 2010 at 4:43 am |
  4. Eshinesu

    Halve a shoe
    twice in one day
    my socks are too tight

    September 25, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  5. Critter

    Shock and anger. I can't help but feel that those two words do not adequately describe what they went through.

    September 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.