Polish man has been indicted for burning an effigy of an Orthodox Jew last November, during a protest in front of city hall in the southwestern city of Wroclaw.
The figure was replete with traditional peot and wore a black hat, ironic considering the city was chosen as the European Capital of Culture for 2016, along with Basque’s San Sebastian.
The protest was organized by the National-Radical Camp and All-Polish Youth. The effigy was holding an EU flag, likely meant to symbolise anti-Semitic conspiracies of Jewish control. The incident was part of a rally by 200 people who gathered to protest EU requirements that Poland accept refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Currently the Polish prosecutor announced that an indictment on charges of incitement to anti-Semitism and racism has been submitted against Piotr Rybak, a construction contractor who set the Jewish effigy on fire. Rybak may face as long as two years in jail if convicted of the charges leveled against him last week.
According to the indictment announcement, a decision is also to be made in coming days whether or not to stand other people on trial who were involved in the protest and the burning of the effigy.
In video footage from the protest Rybak can be heard saying, “we won’t bring even a single Muslim to Poland. Poland is only for Poles,” before seconds later lighting the Jewish effigy on fire.
In investigation he refused to answer the questions of the police investigators, and claimed he “didn’t do anything forbidden.”
The incident comes amid another case of anti-Semitism in the same city of Wroclaw, as a local high school just recently decided to cancel a ceremony in which a poem containing blatant anti-Semitism was to be read.
During the ceremony, which was organized by the school’s English teacher, the students were to read a poem written by one of the most famous Polish poets, Leszek Czajkowski.
The poem includes the line: “an American Jew writes about your guilt in the Holocaust, the word ‘shame’ is unknown to him, even though he grew up in a Polish family.”
After the parents of several students complained, the management of the school decided to cancel the ceremony.
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