Simon Wiesenthal Centre - European Office
64 avenue Marceau, 75008 Paris
Wiesenthal Centre to Polish Foreign Minister: "Antisemitic Easter Via Crucis near Auschwitz Violates Poland's Obligations to European Union and OSCE"
*SEE UPDATE BELOW
Paris, 26 April 2006
In a letter to Polish Foreign Minister, Stefan Meller, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, expressed concern at "the antisemitic tenor of the Via Crucis Easter ritual held this month at the sanctuary of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, between Krakow and Auschwitz in Poland."
Samuels noted, "This is typified by the Jewish stereotypes in the garb, beards and Stars of David illustrated in the attached photo (see left) taken on 14 April by Peter Andrews of Reuters."
The letter continued, "This ceremony contravenes Polish responsibility to combat antisemitism under its obligation to the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)."
The Centre urged Poland to to investigate the activities at this "sanctuary" and to take measures to discipline the organizers in order to ensure that this antisemitic desecration is never repeated.
Samuels concluded, "To do otherwise would endorse a message to Polish youth that is in contradiction with this new era of Polish - Jewish reconciliation."
For further information, please contact Shimon Samuels at +33 6 09 77 01 58
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Wiesenthal Centre Receives Polish Response on Easter Antisemitic Stereotyping: the State May not Intervene in the Religious Domain as this Would Violate Respect for Freedom of Confession...The Rituals Constitute an Important Element of Popular Catholic Religiosity in Poland
Paris, 12 May 2006
In response to a 26 April protest from the Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, please see the attached letter from Polish Foreign Minister, Stefan Meller.
Use this link to read the letter from Polish Foreign Minister, Stefan Meller...
(Adobe Acrobat required)
For further information, please contact Dr. Samuels at +33 6 09 77 01 58.