Sixty Polish teenagers protested anti-Semitic graffiti by staging a demonstration in the Lodz City Hall. The teens, who are not Jewish, stood on the stairs inside the City Hall on Wednesday holding examples of the numerous anti-Semitic slogans that are scrawled across Lodz, such as “Gas the Jews” and slurs against the Widzew Lodz soccer team. The protest was held in advance of the first day of spring cleanup, during which anti-racism activists paint over the city’s anti-Semitic graffiti on schools, buses, shops and homes. The annual cleanup, in its seventh year, was initiated by Colorful Tolerance, a group of local journalists.Such graffiti is more prevalent in Lodz, the second-largest city in Poland with 1 million people, than elsewhere in the country. Lodz was one-third Jewish before World War II, and Widzew has been traditionally labeled a Jewish team. There are a few hundred Jews living in Lodz today.Lodz Mayor Jerzy Kropiwnicki has long campaigned for Jewish-Polish reconciliation and has sponsored several pro-Jewish and pro-Israeli initiatives.
Polish teens protest anti-Semitic graffiti