Director of Polish Jewish theater is attacked


(JTA) — Bricks painted with swastikas and a firecracker were thrown through the window of the director of a Jewish theater in Poland.

The attack on the home of Thomas Pietrasiewicz, director of the NN Theater in Lublin, took place late at night on Dec. 17.  A bottle had been thrown at the house a month earlier but had been dismissed as a prank, the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper reported.

The newspaper reported that the theater has been the victim of several anti-Semitic attacks in the past, including the painting of a Star of David on a gallows on the door, threatening letters and a container with a foul-smelling substance thrown in the building.

"When I looked at the brick, I felt the incredible aggression of the person who threw it," Pietrasiewicz, who is not Jewish, told Gazeta, saying that he felt powerless, like the Jews of Europe during the Nazi era. "But I’m not going to change anything in my life, put bars on the windows or move out because those who paint swastikas on these bricks, what is the point?"

The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday called on the Polish government to take swift action in response to the attack.

“This anti-Semitic hate crime targeted Tomasz Pietrasiewicz, but was clearly intended to terrorize the Jewish community,”  said Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director.

In a letter to Robert Kupiecki, Poland’s ambassador to the United States, ADL urged the Polish government to consider the crime an attack against both an individual and against the Jewish community, and to ensure that the full resources of the police and other public authorities are dedicated to the case.

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