WARSAW (Sep. 5)
Government officials and Jewish leaders alike are deploring the defacement early this week of a monument to Warsaw victims of the Holocaust.
Vandals scrawled an anti-Semitic slogan on the white marble wall located at the site of the Umschlagplatz, the railway sidings at the northern edge of where the Warsaw Ghetto once stood.
The slogan “A good Jew is a dead Jew” scrawled in big red letters, was discovered Monday and believed to have been painted Sunday night. The slogan was erased, but it took 24 hours for that to be done.
Witnesses said there was slight physical damage to the wall itself.
City officials lamented the incident, and Aleksander Hall, government minister for relations with political parties, laid a wreath at the spot.
Sharply condemning the desecration, Hall said it cast a shadow on the immense majority of Poles who consider such acts disgusting.
But he warned against regarding such acts as an indication of a mounting tide of anti-Semitism.
The anti-Semitic vandalism also was deplored by a visiting interfaith group based in New York.
Members of the Temple of Understanding who are touring Eastern Europe, were worried by the incident. However, the group also praised Poland’s new role in helping Soviet Jews immigrate to Israel by providing Warsaw airport as a transit point.
At a news conference here Monday night, Leonard Marks, vice president of the 30-year-old organization, also said Poland “has gone a long way toward warming relations between Jewish and Christian groups.”