Director of Polish Holocaust memorial attacked

The NN Theatre in Lublin

The NN Theatre in Lublin

The Polish government has been urged to clamp down on antisemitism in the wake of an attack on a non-Jewish man who works to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called for a “swift response” after bricks with swastikas on them and firecrackers were thrown through the window of Tomasz Pietrasiewicz’s home in Lublin.

Mr Pietrasiewicz is the director of a Jewish-themed theatre in the city, where all but a handful of the once-vibrant Jewish population perished during the Holocaust.

This is not the first time vandals have targeted the NN Theatre and although the perpetrators have not yet been identified, Mr Pietrasiewicz said he believed he had been targeted by right-wing extremists.

In a letter to Robert Kupiecki, the Polish ambassador to the US, Mr Foxman described the crime as an attack against not only an individual but also the entire Jewish community and called for a full police investigation.

Mr Foxman said: “This antisemitic hate crime targeted, but was clearly intended to terrorise the Jewish community.

"The attack represents a dangerous escalation from previous antisemitic incidents against the theatre - including threatening letters and vandalism on the theater door depicting a Star of David hanging from a gallows."

The attack comes as French philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Lévy wrote on the Huffington Post website of his concern about European anti-Israel sentiment.

In a piece discussing incidents in France and Sweden, Mr Lévy said: “Is there no end to the demonisation of Israel?

"Grimaces from what was once the very face of social democracy in Europe. It is frightening. And we are there."

    Last updated: 10:11am, April 4 2011