Poles Beat, Burn Effigy With Jewish Stereotypical Features

The effigy seen hanging in Pruchnik, Friday . (J-nerations)

Residents of Pruchnik in southeastern Poland on Friday marked a Christian holiday by making a large doll featuring classic anti-Semitic tropes, beating it up, hanging it from a tree and then burning it, Kan public broadcaster reported on Sunday.

The effigy was given a brimmed hat and peyos, making it resemble a chareidi Jew, along with a long nose, a trope used by Nazi Germany and by anti-Semites worldwide to demonize and dehumanize Jews.

Poland has seen a rise in anti-Semitic incidents in recent years.

Israel and Poland have recently seen diplomatic tensions over a controversial law that forbids blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes.

In related news, the U.S. ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, wished Jews a happy Passover in Polish, and the reaction was a wave of angry comments on social media.

Krystyna Pawlowicz, a lawmaker with Poland’s right-wing ruling party, called the ambassador’s tweet, which was posted Friday along with a colorful illustration of items for the Seder, a “provocation.”

Some came to Mosbacher’s defense, recalling that Poland also has a small Jewish population.

Michal Szczerba, an opposition lawmaker, put some blame on the ruling Law and Justice party, accusing it of encouraging Polish nationalists by failing to react to past cases of racism and anti-Semitism.

Mosbacher’s critics included far-right activist Robert Bakiewicz, who organizes a yearly Independence Day march that Polish government officials joined last year.