Poland / 21-10-2012
Krakow – Tzlila Bau, the wife of Joseph Bau, a Holocaust survivor whose story was portrayed in the film 'Schindler's List', told a taxi driver who drove her to a hotel in Krakow, Poland, that was visiting from Israel. That was sufficient (in order for her) to become a victim of antisemitism.
The incident occurred last week while Tzlila and her sister Hadassah arrived in Krakow to participate in the closing ceremony of an exhibition dedicated to their father's activity at the city's Schindler Museum and to deliver a series of lectures at local schools.
"When he heard that I am from Israel", Tzlila related, "He began to shout that there is no such country as Israel and that we stole the Palestinians' land and kill the innocent Arabs every day. I was in shock. I asked him not to talk to me at all, and in especially not about politics. He continued shouting that the Holocaust never happened and that we Jews need to lick the backsides of the Poles because they are the only ones who helped us. He also said that I should bow down before him. I was afraid and asked him to take me to the hotel and not talk to me anymore".
"When we arrived at the hotel, he opened the trunk and waited for me to remove my suitcase by myself, while refusing my request for assistance. I asked that he wait until I had called for one of the hotel employees to help me, but he simply removed the suitcase from the trunk and threw it into a puddle on the sidewalk, while shouting at me to return to the State of Israel that doesn't belong to me and never to return to Poland".
The stunned Bau quickly contacted the Israeli Embassy in Poland. According to her, following clarification with the manager of the taxi station in Krakow, it became clear that he did not intend taking any disciplinary measures against the driver. Bau consequently decided, with the assistance of senior officials from the Krakow municipality, to submit a complaint to the police.
In her complaint, Bau claimed that she had been the victim of a racial attack, a crime for which the punishment is up to three years imprisonment. After the opening of a police inquiry, the management of the taxi station announced that the driver had been suspended from his job, and published an official apology.
The Krakow Police stated that "the complainant and the taxi driver were questioned separately at the police station, and the film from the closed-circuit television cameras from the hotel near which the incident occurred, was also taken. Both parties presented completely different versions of the events. The investigation's findings will be submitted to the Krakow Prosecutor's office where it will be decided whether to issue an indictment".