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Poland arrests three people linked to antisemitic demonstration

Nationalist rally-goers burn a book representing a historic pact protecting the rights of Poland’s Jews in Kalisz, Poland, Nov. 11, 2021. (Screenshot from Karolina Pawliczak/Twitter)
Nationalist rally-goers burn a book representing a historic pact protecting the rights of Poland’s Jews in Kalisz, Poland, Nov. 11, 2021. (Screenshot from Karolina Pawliczak/Twitter)

Poland’s interior minister says three people have been arrested in connection with an antisemitic demonstration last week where far-right participants shouted “death to the Jews.”

The demonstration took place last Thursday, on Poland’s Independence Day, in the central Polish city of Kalisz. Participants at the gathering also burned a copy of a medieval document that offered Jews protection and rights in Polish lands.

Poland’s Jewish community says that Polish Jews “have not experienced such contempt and hatred expressed in public for years.”

“Poland is our homeland. We are both Jews and Poles. We are asking, however, why our right to regard Poland as our home is being questioned ever more often and ever more openly,” the Union of Jewish Religious Communites says.

Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski announces the arrest on Twitter, saying “there is no consent to antisemitism and hatred based on nationality, religion or ethnicity.”

“In the face of the organizers of the disgraceful event in Kalisz, the Polish state must show its ruthlessness and determination,” Kaminski says.

Polish authorities have faced questions as to why it took so long to make the arrests given that the incident was widely reported in Poland.

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