ADL to Polish Gov’t: Rectify “Absurd Decision” Not To Prosecute Soccer Fans For Anti-Semitic Chants

New York, NY, January 14, 2014 …The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the Polish government to rectify a recent decision by Poznan municipal prosecutor Monika Rutkowska not to bring criminal charges against crowd members who yelled anti-Semitic insults at a soccer match.

According to reports, fans of the team Lech Poznan chanted “Move on, Jews!” “Your home is at Auschwitz!” and “To the gas!” during a September 29, 2013 match against the Widzew Lodz team. Rutkowska’s decision was reportedly based on the argument that the offensive comments were directed at the Widzew Lodz players and not specifically at Jews and were made in the context of a sporting event rather than a discussion of political or social issues.

“Ms. Rutkowska’s twisted reasoning cannot stand.  Anti-Semitic incitement is illegal in Poland, and these chants are clearly anti-Semitic,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “Responsible government officials must rectify this absurd decision and ensure that those who chose to insult the memory of the victims of the Holocaust are held responsible for their pernicious and illegal actions.”

In a letter to Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, Mr. Foxman called on the Polish government to intervene and overturn the municipal prosecutor’s decision.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.

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