Jewish community and local Poles 'shocked' at desecration of grave

Unknown vandals defaced local tombstone honoring the memory of 16 Jewish victims of the German occupation of Poland in WW2 on Thursday, shocking the town.

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June 8, 2019 22:43
1 minute read.
Jewish community and local Poles 'shocked' at desecration of grave

A local resident of the Polish town of Karminowice near Lublin places a stone to honor the memory of Jewish victims of the Holocaust . (photo credit: STEVEN D. REECE/ THE MATZECAH FOUNDATION)

 
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Jewish activists and Polish residents of the town of Karminowice near Lublin were "shocked to discover" on Thursday that unknown vandals defaced a local Jewish tombstone with anti-Jewish slogans, the Rabbinical Commission for Matters of Jewish Cemeteries in Poland reported on Friday. 
 
Alex Schwarz, a longtime activist in the field of Jewish Holocaust memory in Poland, said that “this breaks the hearts of everyone.” Schwarz was involved in a project by Fundacja Zapomniane in which local students took care of the memorial site. 
 
The result of intense historical research by the foundation, the site officially opened in June 2018 in cooperation with the Matzevah Foundation and local Catholic clergymen. 
 


The tombstone marking the site was made by a local mason who learned how to carve Hebrew letters to create it. The slurs written on it claim that Jewish-Poles were involved with secret police brutality used by the People's Republic of Poland to reshape Poland as a socialist nation after the end of the war.     
 
The attack on the memorial site is but the most recent event in a public discourse that Polish society is undertaking, with many seeking to better come to terms with the Jewish heritage of the nation and others who claim Jewish history is being given preferable treatment to Polish history and pain suffered during the years of Nazi occupation. 
 
In May, politician Konrad Berkowicz [Korwin] placed a kippa above the head of Deputy Minister of Sports and Tourism Anna Krupka [PiS] claiming “They [PiS] bow down to Jews,” Berkowicz reportedly said. “They will sell this country for money.” 
 
The incident was aired on a local television channel in Kielce, the Korwin party did not win a seat at the EU Parliament elections. 

Jewish memory in Poland involves many different activist groups.


These include the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which opened in 2016, the "From the Depths" foundation headed by British-Israeli Jewish activist Jonny Daniels and the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland (FODZ), among others. 
 

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