Poland Court Acquits Prosecutor Who Refused to Try Swastika Vandalism Case

The Bialystok-based prosecutor refused to take action in June 2013 because he considered the swastika to be 'a symbol of Asian happiness and prosperity.'

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A worker removing anti-Semitic graffiti from a Holocaust memorial at a former Nazi concentration camp in Plaszow, southern Poland, in 2010.
A worker removing anti-Semitic graffiti from a Holocaust memorial at a former Nazi concentration camp in Plaszow, southern Poland, in 2010.Credit: AP

A Polish prosecutor who in June 2013 refused to go forward with legal proceedings against a vandal who painted a swastika was acquitted by a disciplinary court.

Promotion of fascism in Poland is illegal and is punishable by up to two years in prison. The graffiti, including a swastika, found in Bialystok was reported to the prosecutor’s office by local theater Trzyrzecze. The prosecutor in Bialystok refused to take action because, he said, the swastika is “a symbol of Asian happiness and prosperity.”

The prosecutor’s decision became the basis for the initiation of disciplinary proceedings. The proceedings were secret. The prosecutor was acquitted.

“There are places in the world where this symbol can be associated with happiness. For people born in Poland, where in each family there is a memory of the tortured, executed or starved by the people under this sign, the prosecutor’s amnesia must be a shock,” Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told JTA.

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