Polish nationalists burn Jew in effigy, prompting probe

AP News
Posted: Nov 20, 2015 9:39 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish prosecutors are investigating after far-right nationalists burned an effigy of an Orthodox Jew during an anti-migrant demonstration.

The incident occurred in the western city of Wroclaw Wednesday evening when a small group gathered in front of city hall, shouted anti-migrant slogans and then burned the effigy, dressed in black and with side curls. Prosecutors said Friday they opened the investigation at the request of the city mayor, Rafal Dutkiewicz.

Poland's chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, said the incident is "outrageous and concerning. We cannot help but remember how Jews were burnt in effigy in the 1930s and today by Hamas."

"This is just one more example showing how the hatred for migrants comes from the same place as the classic hatred for Jews," Schudrich said.

A spokeswoman for prosecutors, Malgorzata Klaus, told the news agency PAP that the investigation is trying to determine if demonstrators broke a law that prohibits publicly insulting people based on religion, ethnicity, race or nationality — a crime that carries a prison sentence of up to three years.