(JTA) — Two Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in Poland amid a fresh diplomatic crisis between that country and Israel over complicity in the Holocaust.
In the city of Świdnica, a suburb of Wroclaw in southwestern Poland, at least 15 headstones were smashed last week at the local Jewish cemetery. Other headstones were painted with black graffiti, including one of a pentagram – a symbol associated with Satanism.
Local police are investigating possible antisemitic motives, the website Wmeritum reported.
The cemetery had seen previous incidents, Monika Krawczyk, chairwoman-elect of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
“The evil comes back,” she added.
Separately, in Wroclaw, the words “Jesus is King” were written on the fence of another Jewish cemetery on Feb. 13. Several locals showed up earlier this week to paint over the slogan, Gazeta Wroclawska reported Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week during a visit to Poland that some Poles collaborated with the Germans during the Holocaust. Despite a new law in Poland that forbids blaming the Polish nation for Nazi crimes, he said, speaking about the complicity of individuals is permissible.
But his comment, which was misrepresented in some media to include all Poles, triggered a diplomatic crisis. It escalated when Israel’s acting foreign minister, Israel Katz, said Sunday that Poles take in antisemitism with their mother’s milk.
The law last year triggered an earlier crisis, which Poland and Israel had resolved.