WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The fence of a Jewish cemetery in Warsaw considered to be one of the largest in Europe was defaced.
The attack on the Okopowa Street cemetery took place on Saturday; the vandalism was discovered the next day. Burials are still held in part of the cemetery.
“Jews for slaughter” and the date 10.12.14 were spray-painted in red on the fence. The date is when Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the ban on ritual slaughter was unconstitutional. Also, the cemetery gate was painted with yellow emulsion paint.
Cemetery director Przemyslaw Szpilman discovered the vandalism and immediately notified police. Szpilman said he does not know if the vandalism is an “immature prank or a political issue.”
“Such incidents do not happen very often,” he told JTA. “In 2013, someone painted a swastika on the wall of the cemetery, but for the last 12 years nothing like that has happened.”
Anna Chipczynska, president of the Jewish Community of Warsaw, said: “Less than a week after the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, we have to deal with the manifestation of hatred against Jews. ‘Jews for slaughter’ is not only a humiliation that society cannot ignore, it is an invitation to violence and threats to which we should all be vigilant.”
Piotr Kadlcik, former president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA: “It is sad that the deceased perish for the decisions of the living.”