The daughter of a Holocaust survivor saved by Oskar Schindler says she was the victim of an anti-Semitic verbal assault last week in Poland.
Clila Bau, the daughter of renowned Israeli artist and poet Joseph Bau, claims she suffered the attack in Krakow, where she and her sister Hadasa attended the closing of an exhibition dedicated to their father – one of the most celebrated names on Schindler’s list – at the city’s Schindler Museum. Bau had also used the visit to deliver lectures at local high schools to promote tolerance.
It was after a lecture on October 16, Bau said, that a taxi driver subjected her to an anti-Semitic tirade after asking where she was from.
“As soon as he heard I was from Israel, he began to shout that there is no such country as Israel, that we had stolen the land of the Palestinians and were killing innocent Arabs every day,” Bau said of the incident, which has garnered widespread media attention in Poland.
“I was totally shocked and asked him not to talk to me, especially about politics. Despite this, he kept shouting that the Holocaust had never happened, and that we, the Jews, should lick Poles’ backsides because they were the only ones who had helped us during WWII.”
The driver, an employee of Mega Taxi, one of Krakow’s largest cab services, allegedly remained hostile after delivering Bau to her hotel, throwing her suitcase into a puddle and “shouting that I should return to Israel, which doesn’t belong to me anyway, and never set foot in Poland again.”
Bau immediately contacted the Israeli embassy and local authorities, and says a conversation with the owner of Mega Taxi indicated he would not take any disciplinary action against the driver. She subsequently filed a police complaint against the driver for racially motivated abuse – an offense punishable by up to three years in prison.
After the police launched an investigation, the taxi company announced that the driver had been suspended, and issued an apology.
Krakow police released a statement of their own, reporting that both Bau and the driver — whose name has not been made public — were questioned separately, and that video surveillance from the hotel was being reviewed.
“Both sides have presented a totally different version of events,” the police statement said. “The findings of the investigation will be transferred to the prosecutor’s office in Krakow, where a decision will be made about whether to press charges or not. The prosecutor’s office will announce any further steps to be taken.”