US/World News

‘No Jews allowed’ banner seized from Polish hotel

(JTA) – Polish police seized a banner reading “no Jews, speculators and traitors allowed” from the entrance to a hotel that reportedly is owned by an ultranationalist who is jailed for antisemitic hate speech. Officers were sent to Dom Polski near the western city of Wroclaw Nov. 23 following the surfacing of images on social networks showing the banner on the gate to the Dom Polski hotel in the eastern suburb of Cesarzowicea. The hotel, which featured the banner since spring, is owned by Piotr Rybak, an ultranationalist who earlier this year was sentenced to three months in prison for burning an effigy of a Jew at a 2015 demonstration in Wroclaw against Muslim immigration, Cesarzowic Mayor Jolanta Szulc said. The regional prosecutor’s office is looking into charging Rybak with another indictment for racist hate speech in connection with the banner, Małgorzata Kalus, the prosecutor department’s spokesperson said.

Rybak had been under house arrest until last week, when a District Court judge in Wrocław sent him to jail for violating the terms of his detention. Rybak violated those terms by participating in a nationalist march in Wroclaw on Nov. 11 that featured antisemitic rhetoric. The same day, 60,000 people attended a larger march in Warsaw, where some participants waved anti-Muslim banners and shouted antisemitic slogans. That event focused international attention of Poland’s ultranationalist problem, which some critics of the government say has grown since 2015 because it is being tolerated by the ruling Law and Justice party. President Andrzej Duda has condemned the march, its anti-Semitic overtones and radical nationalism in general following the march.

Some leaders of Polish Jewry, including Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, allege that under Law and Justice, intolerance has grown in Polish society “towards various minorities, including the Jews.”

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