On the evening of December 17, bricks with swastikas and a small explosive device were thrown through the window of the home of Thomas Pietrasiewicz, head of a Jewish-themed organization in Lublin.
Pietrasiewicz is not Jewish but he directs an organization called Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre, which works to preserve the memory of the large and vibrant Jewish community that lived in the eastern city of Lublin before the Holocaust.
“This anti-Semitic hate crime directly targeted Thomas Pietrasiewicz, but was also clearly intended to terrorize the broader Jewish community, of which Mr. Pietrasiewicz is a prominent member,” said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL national director.
“The attack represents a dangerous escalation from previous anti-Semitic incidents against the theater -- including threatening letters and vandalism on the theater door depicting a Star of David hanging from a gallows.”
In a letter to Robert Kupiecki, Poland’s ambassador to the United States, ADL urged the Polish government to consider the crime an attack against both an individual and against the Jewish community, and ensure that the full resources of the police and all other relevant public authorities are dedicated to the case.
Pietrasiewicz was sleeping when the bricks and firecrackers were thrown at his house Friday night, shattering windows and causing minor damage. He said he was in a different part of his home and was not hurt.
Pietrasiewicz said police have not yet identified the perpetrators, but the swastikas mean it is likely that right-wing extremists targeted him for his remembrance work.
He said he had mostly avoided speaking about the incident in recent days, explaining that he didn't want to play it up because he wanted to avoid giving extremists from such a tiny minority more attention than they deserved.
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