Polish official sacked for desecration of Jewish cemetery
search

Polish official sacked for desecration of Jewish cemetery

Andrzej Nowakowski fired after human remains uncovered during construction work near graveyard in Siemiatycze

This photo from Dec. 5, 2017, shows an unidentified man holding human remains which had been removed from an old Jewish cemetery and dumped in huge mounds in Siemiatycze, Poland. (Aleksander Schwarz/The Union of Jewish Communities in Poland via AP)
This photo from Dec. 5, 2017, shows an unidentified man holding human remains which had been removed from an old Jewish cemetery and dumped in huge mounds in Siemiatycze, Poland. (Aleksander Schwarz/The Union of Jewish Communities in Poland via AP)

WARSAW, Poland — The local conservator in the eastern Polish city of Siemiatycze was dismissed after the desecration of the local Jewish cemetery.

Construction work carried out at the beginning of the month on the grounds adjacent to the Jewish cemetery in Siemiatycze uncovered human remains likely from the cemetery. The chief rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich called it “the worst desacralization of the Jewish cemetery” that he has seen since assuming his post 17 years ago.

Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich prepares broken Torah scrolls for a burial ceremony in Warsaw Jewish Cemetery, April 19, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Wojtek RADWANSKI)

Andrzej Nowakowski was dismissed from his position last week at the request of the General Conservator in Warsaw, Magdalena Gawin, who serves as undersecretary of state in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

The remains were unearthed earlier this month during work to modernize the power grid for the city of Siemiatycze. The ground where the remains were uncovered is adjacent to the fence of the Jewish cemetery.

The case is being investigated by the District Prosecutor’s Office in Siemiatycze. The bones were handed over to the rabbinical commission for Jewish cemeteries.

Human remains that had been removed from an old Jewish cemetery were dumped in huge mounds in Siemiatycze, Poland, from December. 5, 2017. (Aleksander Schwarz/The Union of Jewish Communities in Poland via AP)

A protest by Gawin in February led to charges against officials responsible for allowing the demolition of a former Jewish school building in Konin in central Poland.

“The building was a special witness to the presence of Konin Jews, Polish citizens murdered by the German occupiers during the Second World War,” Magdalena Gawin said at the time. “The consequences will be taken against those whose actions consciously led to the demolition of the building.”

read more:
less
comments
more