Polish artist burns barn to remember pogrom

(JTA) — A Polish performance artist burned down a barn to commemorate a Nazi pogrom.

Rafal Betlejewski’s act in a central polish village on Sunday night was commemorating the 1941 Jedwabne pogrom in which at least 340 Jews were locked in a barn and burned alive. Betlejewski said the performance was part of his crusade against anti-Semitism.

"Poland is a completely different country than it was 80 years ago when there was a big and significant Jewish minority, which participated in Poland’s cultural, social and scientific development," Reuters quoted Betlejewski as saying before the performance.

"These people are gone after the Holocaust and later waves of emigration, and I miss them more and more. This performance is addressed to Poles first and foremost, to those ignorant who know nothing about Jews’ input in Poland’s history."

More than 1,000 people attended the ceremony, according to the French news agency AFP.

Polish and Jewish groups criticized his performance, Reuters reported.
 

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