Antisemitic graffiti written on gate of Jewish cemetery in southern Poland
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Antisemitic graffiti written on gate of Jewish cemetery in southern Poland

An old Jewish headstone in a cemetery
An old Jewish headstone in a cemetery

 A Jewish cemetery in southern Poland was vandalised with antisemitic graffiti.

“Jews to the Sand” and “cyclone B,” referring to the Zyklon B gas used to kill Jews in Nazi death camps, was written on the gate of the Jewish cemetery in Czestochowa.

A sign with information about the cemetery, funded by philanthropist Zygmunt Rolat, who was born in  Czestochowa and survived the Holocaust in the Czestochowa Ghetto, was also pulled down.

The police in Czestochowa were informed about the vandalism on Thursday, and opened an investigation. No suspects have as yet been identified.

“For Czestochowa, these inscriptions are a disgrace and another manifestation of antisemitism. Authorities have the duty to combat such behaviour,” local councillor Jolanta Urbańska told the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper.

It is not the first time this year that city employees have had to paint over antisemitic graffiti at the cemetery. No safeguards have yet been put into place to prevent another occurrence.

Before World War II, Jews constituted about 30 percent of the inhabitants of Czestochowa. In 1937, as a result of the activities of Polish nationalists, there was a three-day pogrom against the Jews, during which dozens of shops and apartments were demolished and the local synagogue set on fire. The Nazis created a ghetto there in 1941, which housed over 40,000 Jews. Most of them were murdered in the ghetto or in Treblinka.

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