Ola and Pawel (both currently 33 years old) were childhood sweethearts who both went on to become skinheads who were Neo-Nazis. Then, a few years ago, they got the shock of their lives when Ola found out from Warsaw’s Jewish Historical Institute that both she and her husband are technically Jews. A few years ago, “It was unbelievable – it turned out that we had Jewish roots. It was a shock.” she said.
They’ve since embraced their Jewish identity and are active in their local orthodox synagogue but, at the time they found out, she and Pawel were still highly active in Warsaw’s Neo-Nazi movement. “I was a nationalist 100 percent. Back then when we were skinheads it was all about white power; that Jews were the biggest plague and the worst evil of this world.” Pawel said. “I’m not saying that I don’t have regrets but it’s not something that I walk around and lash myself over. I feel sorry for those that I beat up,” Pawel said. “But I don’t hold a grudge against myself.” Anyone else think that maybe he should hold a grudge against himself for beating people up based solely on their race, religion or creed, or that he should at least show some real fucking remorse rather than saying “This is who I am now” and integrating himself with those he victimised previously?
The couple are the subject of a current CNN documentary about Poles rediscovering their Jewish roots generations after their ancestors hid their religious identities to escape persecution during World War II.