Przyslala Katharina Dr.Gasinska-Lepsien
The old stereotypes are resurfacing,’ says prominent member of Jewish community as nation faces resurgent nationalist right
WARSAW, Poland (AFP) — Graffiti of a swastika and the words “Jude Raus” (Jew, get out) recently appeared overnight on the headquarters of a liberal opposition movement in the Polish capital Warsaw.
The act of vandalism in late February is the latest sign that anti-Semitism persists in the EU member nation, even if it mostly rears its ugly head on the internet.
Twenty years ago I would have said that anti-Semitism is on the wane but that’s no longer the case. The old stereotypes are resurfacing,” said Stanislaw Krajewski, a University of Warsaw professor and prominent member of the Jewish community.
“Anti-Semitism is still present in Poland. It’s part of the overall climate,” he told AFP.
But it’s most aggressive on the internet. It doesn’t come up in my day-to-day life,” added Krajewski, who also co-founded an organization for dialogue with Christians.
For his part, journalist Konstanty Gebert said he had never had cause for concern when walking around Warsaw in his yarmulke.
“Sometimes, very rarely, I get comments. I don’t respond and usually someone else answers for me,” he told AFP.
“In Paris, on the other hand, I was jostled a couple of times by young people. Other passersby just looked away.”
Jews first arrived in Poland in the Middle Ages, and for centuries the country was home to the world’s largest Jewish community.
However, the population was decimated during the Nazi occupation. Three million Polish Jews died in the Holocaust during World War II, making up about half of the six million Poles who were killed