As the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, we would like to express our indignation at the recent increase in anti-Semitic acts of vandalism targeting sites and symbols of great importance to the Polish Jewish community and their descendants scattered around the world. Every day we learn of more and more hooligan acts intended to openly insult and attack Polish Jews.
Undoubtedly, all those who undertook these reprehensible deeds were encouraged to act by the infamous events that took place in December in the domicile of the Polish Parliament, when Grzegorz Braun, MP, violently extinguished the burning Hanukkah candles. Although all political parties (apart from the Confederation, which Mr Braun represents in the Polish Parliament as an MP) and the major state authorities, have expressed their condemnation of the act, the frequency of such attacks has not diminished; on the contrary, they now continue to intensify.
The appearance of insulting graffiti on the walls of a synagogue in Wrocław, the devastation of a plaque commemorating the ghetto in Gdańsk, the destruction of a monument of Sarah Shnirer in Kraków, or the most recent case of the demolition of a Jewish cemetery in Minsk Mazowiecki, are just a few examples of anti-Semitic acts reported in the past month.
We fear that the attackers will not stop at abusive statements and assaults on sites that are important to us. History has taught us to be vigilant and indifferent, for it is not far from words to actions that end in someone’s harm. How many more such sites still need to be vandalised before Polish society realises the problem of the rise of anti-Semitic sentiments?
The Board and members of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland firmly condemn all acts that harm other human being. We unequivocally express our protest against anti-Semitism in any form whatsoever. In a country so wronged by Nazi ideology, there should be no place for such behaviours and attitudes at all. We are all highly concerned by the recent events, and hope that the state authorities will soon address this pressing issue.