After Jedwabne vandalism, Poles show support

By Jennifer Lipman, September 6, 2011
The Jedwabne memorial

The Jedwabne memorial

More than 100 Poles joined a solidarity march following the desecration of a memorial in the town of Jedwabne to Jews murdered by Nazi collaborators during the Holocaust.

The group held their "march of unity" in the city of Bialystok, ending their walk at a statue commemorating the Jewish doctor who founded the Esperanto language.

The march was a reaction to the action of vandals, who spraypainted the SS and swastika symbols on the memorial to hundreds of Jews who were led into a barn and burned alive in 1941 by Polish Nazi sympathisers.

The graffiti included the words "They were flammable" and "I don't apologise for Jedwabne".

In response to this and other antisemitic incidents in Poland in recent years, the demonstrators, including the Bialystok mayor, gathered to call for the end to this "wave of thoughtless hatred."

The solidarity event was marred by the presence of a number of counter-protesters shouting nationalist slogans.

Last updated: 2:00pm, September 6 2011