Type to search

Antisemitic incidents General Poland שונות

Polish Jews ask far-right leader to denounce rising antisemitism

Source: nrg

The leaders of
Poland’s Jewish community have written to the country’s most powerful
politician, urging him to denounce what they say is rising antisemitism that
has left them fearing for their future in the country. 


letter, a rare voicing of concern, comes nearly two years after the election of
Law and Justice, a deeply conservative, nationalistic and anti-migrant party
that is backed by some groups with antisemitic views.


Observers including
the country’s human rights commissioner have noted a rise in antisemitism and
other hate speech and as well as attacks on dark-skinned people since the party
came to power.


are appalled by recent events and fearful for our security as the situation in
our country is becoming more dangerous,” Leslaw Piszewski, the head of the
Jewish community in Poland, and Anna Chipczynska, the head of the Warsaw
community, wrote in the letter.


Chipczynska told The
Associated Press on Thursday that the community sent the letter last week to
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the ruling party leader, but so far had no reply. The
Associated Press made several attempts to reach the party spokeswoman but all
calls went unanswered.


The letter says there
has been a “rise of antisemitic attitudes in recent months, accompanied by
aggressive hate speech and violent behavior that are directed towards our
community” and asked Kaczynski to decisively condemn the antisemitism.


Among examples it
mentions the increasingly visible presence, even at state events, of members of
an extremist right-wing group, the National Radical Camp, and an attack last
week on a visiting Israeli soccer team.


It also cited a
recent comment by a lawmaker from Law and Justice, Bogdan Rzonca, who said on
Twitter earlier this month that he wondered “why there are so many Jews
among abortionists despite the Holocaust.”


Another incident that
raised the community’s concern was when a journalist for state television TVP,
Magdalena Ogorek, highlighted the Jewish ancestry of a senator, Marek Borowski,
when criticizing his politics. The incident sparked a wave of critical
comments, and the head of TVP demanded an explanation from Ogorek.


Some Polish observers
have said the climate evokes the mood in the country in 1968, when the communist
regime waged an antisemitic campaign against Jews that culminated in thousands
being expelled from the country. 


are afraid for our security and our future in Poland,” the Jewish leaders
wrote to Kaczynski. “We do not want a return to the year 1968.” 


Jewish community was the largest in Europe before the Holocaust, with some 3.3
million people. Today’s community is much smaller but had been growing amid a
new tolerance that came with the collapse of communism in 1989.