(JTA) – Poland’s ruling party suspended a senator who posted online footage from a Nazi propaganda movie depicting violence against Jews to the sounds of klezmer music.
On Feb. 22, the Law and Justice party suspended Waldemar Bonkowski for posting the video on Facebook earlier in the week amid an acrimonious argument between many Poles and Jews over the Polish government’s passing this month of a law criminalizing blaming Poland for Nazi crimes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu protested the law and called “outrageous” a remark by his Polish counterpart, Mateusz Morawiecki, who said in defending the law that there were also Jewish perpetrators of the Holocaust. The debate around the law, which is opposed also by the World Jewish Congress and the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Israel, has generated an increase in antisemitic rhetoric in Poland, according to Jonny Daniels, a commemoration activist from the From the Depths group with friendly ties to Morawiecki. Bonkowski’s post, which Daniels said was “hateful,” is part of that increase.
Last week, 23 Jewish groups signed a statement saying their members felt less safe in Poland following the fallout of the debate.
CAP: Waldemar Bonkowski