Warsaw Ghetto plaque defaced with swastika

The plaque, erected in 2008, was dedicated to the "memory of those who suffered, fought and died."

December 8, 2015 18:38
1 minute read.

Spray-painted swastika (illustrative). (photo credit: REUTERS)

A plaque commemorating the Warsaw Ghetto was defaced with a large swastika, Polish news portal WaWa Love reported Monday.

The plaque, erected in 2008, was dedicated to the "memory of those who suffered, fought and died."

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Numerous plaques adorn the area, marking the boundaries of the Jewish ghetto during the Nazi occupation of Poland.

When asked the opinion of an elderly passerby what he thought of the chilling symbol, the aged pedestrian began to weep.

"That symbol painted in a place where not so long ago the Nazis killed hundreds of thousands of people? It passes human understanding, it's just scary," the man told Wa Wa Love.

"Unfortunately, The damage is too large, the plaque could not be saved," a representative for the city said. "Therefore the plaque will be disassembled, then, after consultation with the designer, recreated."

Jonny Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of From The Depths, the leading organization on the ground in Eastern Europe dealing with Holocaust memory and memorial and current anti-Semitism, said in a statement: "It's so sad to see this kind of graffiti in the heart of Warsaw, a city that understands perhaps more than others the extend of Nazi evil. We have spoken and continue to speak to the relevant authorities and call upon them to find the perpetrators of this hate crime and deal with them to the full extent of the law."

Established in the Polish capital in the winter of 1940, the Warsaw Ghetto was the largest of all the Jewish ghettos in Europe during the Second World War. Over 400,000 Jews lived within the confines. By the end of WWII, an estimated 300,000 Jews of the ghetto were either killed by the Nazis or died of starvation.

In Poland, according to Article 256 of the Criminal Code, the use of Nazi symbols is prohibited by law. Anyone found guilty of inciting hatred based on ethnic, religious or nationalistic grounds can be subject to imprisonment or fines.

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