At a march on Poland’s Independence Day, participants of a march in Kalisz shouted anti-Semitic chants such as ‘’Death to Jews’’ and also burned a copy of a medieval document that offered Jews protection and rights in Polish lands. They referred the “Zionists” as “enemies of Poland” that needed to be expelled from the country.
Three people have been arrested after an anti-Semitic demonstration in Poland last week, the Polish Interior Minister announced.
The far-right demonstration took place on Poland’s Independence Day, in the central Polish city of Kalisz.
Participants shouted anti-Semitic chants such as ‘’Death to Jews’’ and also burned a copy of a medieval document that offered Jews protection and rights in Polish lands. They referred the “Zionists” as “enemies of Poland” that needed to be expelled from the country.
“There is no consent to anti-Semitism and hatred based on nationality, religion or ethnicity,’’ said the Polish Minister, Mariusz Kaminski
“In the face of the organisers of the disgraceful event in Kalisz, the Polish state must show its ruthlessness and determination,” he added.
Polish President Andrzej Duda strongly condemned the antisemitic incident while people in the city of Kalisz held a demonstration Sunday under the slogan “Kalisz — free from fascism.”
“I firmly condemn all acts of anti-Semitism.The barbarism shown by a group of hooligans in Kalisz runs contrary to the values which underlie the Polish Republic,’’ the president said.
The Foreign Ministers and the Polish Episcopal Conference also condemned the march.
Poland’s Jewish community said that Polish Jews “have not experienced such contempt and hatred expressed in public for years”.
“Poland is our homeland. We are both Jews and Poles. We are asking, however, why our right to regard Poland as our home is being questioned ever more often and ever more openly?” the Union of Jewish Religious Communities said.
The Jewish community noted that Polish state and local governments have been “giving up their role as the main organiser of Independence Day celebrations, thus letting the initiative be taken over by extreme right-wing organisations that use public assemblies to preach antisemitic, xenophobic, and homophobic words.”
“Unfortunately, some of these organisations benefit from public funding,” it said.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid welcomed the “unequivocal condemnation” by Polish authorities. He said Jewish people “expect the Polish government to act uncompromisingly against those who took part in this shocking display of hate.”
“The horrific antisemitic incident in Poland reminds every Jew in the world of the strength of hatred that exists in the world,” Lapid added.