Poland's President Lights Candles for Hanukkah

'Let there always be a great hope for the chosen people, for all the Jews in Poland and in the world,' said President Andrzej Duda at the ceremony.

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Poland’s President Andrzej Duda lights a Hanukkah candle alongside Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday Dec. 9, 2015.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda lights a Hanukkah candle alongside Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday Dec. 9, 2015.Credit: AP

Poland's conservative president has led a candle lighting ceremony for Hanukkah, following a tradition of Polish presidents marking the Jewish festival of lights to signal support for the country's small but historically important Jewish community.

President Andrzej Duda took part in the menorah lighting at his presidential palace in Warsaw after dusk Wednesday along with members of Poland's Jewish community.

Duda recalled that the former President Lech Kaczynski, his mentor, had begun the tradition.

He said, "let there always be a great hope for the chosen people, for all the Jews in Poland and in the world."

Poland was once home to the world's largest Jewish population, but most of the country's Jews were killed by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

Rabbi Shmuel Havlin sings atop a ladder in front of Hanukkah candles made out of Lego blocks in the hall of the Joseph-Carlebach school in Hamburg, Germany, Dec. 9, 2015.
A giant eight- branched candelabrum Menorah is pictured in front of a Christmas tree during the holiday of the jewish religious festival of lights Hanukkah at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on December 7, 2015.
President Reuven Rivlin, second from right, lights the menorah and sings joined by President Barack Obama, right, first lady Michelle Obama, left, and Nechama Rivlin, second from left, during the first of two Hanukkah receptions the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015.
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Rabbi Shmuel Havlin sings atop a ladder in front of Hanukkah candles made out of Lego blocks in the hall of the Joseph-Carlebach school in Hamburg, Germany, Dec. 9, 2015.Credit: AP
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A giant eight- branched candelabrum Menorah is pictured in front of a Christmas tree during the holiday of the jewish religious festival of lights Hanukkah, the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Dec. 7, 2015.Credit: AP
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President Reuven Rivlin, lights the menorah and sings joined by President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and Nechama Rivlin, Washington, Dec. 9, 2015.Credit: AP

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