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.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.