Polish soccer fans burn Jewish effigies

Local police search for several dozen men photographed in hate demonstration

The city of Lodz, Poland (CC-BY-SA Jakub Zasina/Wikimedia Commons)
The city of Lodz, Poland (CC-BY-SA Jakub Zasina/Wikimedia Commons)

Several dozen soccer fans in Poland hung a banner containing anti-Semitic language at a train station in Lodz at a demonstration that featured the burning of Jewish effigies.

Approximately 50 men were photographed on a bridge at the Lodz Kaliska station on Aug. 26 with a banner reading “19.08, today the Jews got a name. Let them burn,” followed by an obscenity, the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper reported.

The message referenced to the ŁKS Łódź team, which was founded in 1908 and many Poles associate with Jews because of the rich Jewish history of Lodz. The city in central Poland had a large Jewish population before the Holocaust, partly because it was a capital of the local textile industry.

The fans, some wearing ski masks, set fire to at least three puppets hanging from the bridge that are understood to have symbolized burning Jews.

Police were looking for the demonstrators, who are suspected of incitement to racial hatred and intimidation, the daily reported.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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