Polish group burn effigy of Jew as a ‘spring rite’

Jews or other other minority groups are symbolically murdered in longstanding ritual to celebrate death of winter


A group in Warsaw has been reported to local police after they burned and drowned an effigy of a Jewish woman as part of a rite to celebrate the coming of spring.

A video of the act, which has now been removed, was uploaded by a group called “Conscience of the Nation TV”. It was described on YouTube as an “antisemeeting”, during which members of the group burned the effigy and then 'drowned' it in the Vistula river.

As reported by the Wporst news website, the caption under the video also said that the effigy symbolised what is “ugly, cold and bad”, with one of the participants referring to Jews by saying  “this mug [face], this big nose, so well-known in Polish history”.

The drowning of an effigy, said to symbolise Marzanna - winter – at the beginning of spring is a part of Polish folklore. Until now there has been no record of the Marzanna effigy being used to depict any form of minority.

The Polish Centre for Monitoring Racial and Xenophobic Behaviour confirmed that it had reported the incident to the office of the local prosecutor.

“During the Second World War one of four Warsaw residents died because they were Jewish,” the centre said in a statement.

“By imitating the Nazis today you have to be either a complete idiot or the last pig. But certainly not a patriot.”

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