Polish prosecutor closes case of anti-Semitic graffiti on demolished workshop


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — The Polish prosecutor’s office will discontinue the case of anti-Semitic graffiti discovered in the demolished workshop of a stonemason who was renovating a local Holocaust memorial.

According to prosecutor Dorota Bochen, the graffiti “was not public,” therefore the perpetrator will not be responsible for anti-Semitism, but only for vandalism.

The workshop of Krzysztof Kolibski – a stonemason who created monuments erected on the graves of Jews murdered during the Holocaust – was demolished by a bulldozer on June 15  in the village of Wawolnica, in eastern Poland.. On one of the stone blocks inside the building, the perpetrator painted the inscription: “Jews away.”

The perpetrator was quickly found by police. Two legal proceedings are pending against him: One related to the destruction of property is underway; The second, regarding anti-Semitism, was discontinued by the Lublin District Prosecutor’s Office earlier this month.

Bochen said  in the decision that since the graffiti had been placed inside the demolished workshop, it was not “public hate speech,” which is illegal in Poland. In her opinion, the anti-Semitic inscription was “an expression of disapproval of Krzysztof Kolibski for his cooperation with Jewish foundations.”

Since the prosecutor’s office will not prosecute the perpetrator, Kolibski can file a civil lawsuit.

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