The citizens of central Polish city Częstochowa were up and arms last week after noticing a huge yellow swastika sprayed on the asphalt of a nightclub’s parking lot, the Telegraph reported.
Residents rushed to complain to local police, claiming that the swastika could be seen from afar and that anyone walking in the city’s center would spot it.
Displaying Nazi symbols is a criminal offence in Poland and carries a prison sentence.
Marek Pelian, the owner of the Ray disco, denied in interviews with local media that it was an Antisemitic act, or that the symbol was meant to be perceived as a swastika.
“What swastika? This is just the yellow brick road from the Wizard of Oz,” Pelian claimed, explaining that one arm leads to the nightclub’s door, while another will lead to an outdoor stage, not yet built.
“This design has four arms, just like the galaxy, and this is astronomical disco,” he added. “Just because Hitler used it does not mean it’s a sign of totalitarianism.”
However, not everyone was convinced.
In an opinion piece for Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Częstochowa resident Pawel Krysiak argued that “the swastika will always be associated with genocide, not the Wizard of Oz.”
“In the autumn of 1942, the Nazis deported 40,000 people to the Treblinka death camp. This is what happened to people under the sign of the swastika. Częstochowa still lives in the shadow of this crime and we do not want to forget it.”
It remains unknown if local police will decide to open a criminal investigation. Meanwhile, the swastika remains.