New York, NY, September 1, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the President of Poland to "speak out forcefully" in the aftermath of an attack on a monument to the more than 300 Jews who were burned alive in Jedwabne, Poland. Unknown vandals painted a swastika and anti-Semitic messages on the memorial at Jedwabne, including the messages "They burned easily" and "Do not apologize for Jedwabne."
In a letter to President Bronislaw Komorowski, the League praised Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski for his "immediate and eloquent statement" following the graffiti incident. The League urged the president to speak out as well and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor from Poland, issued the following statement:
This morning a shrill voice of hate was heard at Jedwabne. On the monument to the over 300 Jews forced into a barn by their Polish neighbors and burned alive, vandals wrote, "They burned easily" and "Do not apologize for Jedwabne." Seventy years after that heinous act of mass murder, the anti-Semitism that inspired it has again been expressed at the very site.
We believe it is important that that the President add his voice and speak out forcefully to condemn both the act and the hate, to demonstrate to all of Poland and beyond that anti-Semitism has no place in Polish society and that those who do espouse it and express it bring only dishonor to themselves. His strong voice, as the highest elected official, will overpower the small and cowardly voice of the vandals.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.