WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — A 96-year-old Holocaust survivor appealed to Polish authorities to “take radical measures” in the fight against neo-Nazi organizations in Poland.
Magdalena Wyszyńska, a Polish-born Jew living in Lviv, Ukraine, spoke Saturday during at an anti-fascist counterdemonstration in Gdansk organized by its mayor, Paweł Adamowicz. Some 1,500 people attended the counterdemonstration in response to a march in the Polish city last week by extreme right-wing groups.
Wyszyńska appealed to the authorities to take action on the revival of neo-fascist movements in Poland. She said that she miraculously survived Hitler’s occupation and knows “what unjustified hatred below human dignity is.”
“I would like future generations to not know this horror,” she said. “I hope that this will go to the hearts of the appropriate bodies, regardless of religion, and will encourage them to take radical measures.”
Adamowicz said history should serve as a warning and a lesson.
“History is not repeating. History often returns as something much worse,” the mayor said at the event. “It turns out, however, that for many of our countrymen it is not analyzed. They dress in costumes of nationalist and fascist organizations — organizations that were anti-Semitic and full of hate.”
Also on Saturday, the Internal Security Agency and the police carried out a raid in Dzierżoniów, in southwestern Poland, to detain people associated with neo-Nazi movements and prevent a nationalist concert that was timed to coincide with Adolf Hitler’s birthday. Areas of the town were paralyzed for several hours, and police did not allow residents to leave their homes amid fears that the neo-Nazis could be armed and pose serious danger.