Polish NGO set to prosecute owner of Polish guest house that banned Jews

"This is a deplorable act that has no space in a modern democracy country like Poland."

November 27, 2017 16:51
2 minute read.
Polish NGO set to prosecute owner of Polish guest house that banned Jews

Protesters light flares and carry Polish flags during a rally, organised by far-right, nationalist groups, to mark 99th anniversary of Polish independence in Warsaw, Poland November 11, 2017. (photo credit: AGENCJA GAZETA/ADAM STEPIEN VIA REUTERS)

Polish NGO From The Depths plans to prosecute the owner of a guest house in Cesarzowice, Poland, which banned Jews from the property.

A giant banner, which was removed by police, was attached to the front gate of the hostel. Written on it in Poland’s national colors of red and white were the words: “Entry forbidden to Jews, Commies, and all thieves and traitors of Poland.”

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According to Polish media reports, the guest house belongs to Piotr Ryback, who is currently in prison for burning the effigy of a Jew in a major square in the nearby city of Wroclaw during an anti-immigration rally in 2015.

From The Depths seeks to prosecute Ryback, in light of this latest incident.

“This is a deplorable act that has no space in a modern democratic country like Poland,” From The Depths founder Jonny Daniels told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

“It is the same small group of losers that continue to push these racist, antisemitic and xenophobic acts. At From The Depths we are working with leading lawyers in Poland to ensure that we bring a swift end to this kind of behavior and hate speech.”

The regional prosecutor’s office is looking into charging Rybak with another indictment for racist hate speech in connection with the banner, Małgorzata Kalus, the office’s spokeswoman, told Telewizja Polska S.A. (Polish Public Television).

Rybak had been under house arrest until last week, when a District Court judge in Wrocław sent him to jail for violating the terms of his detention. Rybak violated those terms by participating in a nationalist march in Wroclaw on November 11 that featured antisemitic rhetoric.

That same day, 60,000 people attended a larger march in Warsaw, where some participants waived anti-Muslim banners and shouted antisemitic slogans.

News of the hostel’s ban on Jews drew condemnation from major Jewish groups.

A press release from the World Jewish Congress on Sunday stated that its CEO, Robert Singer, said the sign “conjures up memories of ghetto benches and other chilling manifestations of antisemitism in Poland in the late 1930s. Given Poland’s history, we would have expected authorities to act forcefully and swiftly to put a stop to such activity, which is illegal and utterly contravenes the democratic norms Warsaw is committed to upholding.”

The Anti-Defamation League, which also called for Polish authorities to act against the guest house, noted on Friday that the remainder of Rybak’s sentence was reduced last month to three months of partial house arrest with required good behavior.

JTA contributed to this report.

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