The anti-Semitic behavior that took place in Kalisz during the November 11 march met with a reaction from representatives of Christian churches and communities in Kalisz. In a joint statement, they said that they were “painful because they undermined basic human and Christian values.” “The incident of burning the Kalisz Statute hits the Jewish community in a special way. It is a manifestation of anti-Semitism,” he added.
On November 11, a march was organized in Kalisz, the participants of which, raising anti-Semitic slogans, marched to the Main Market Square, where they burned the text of the Kalisz Statute – a tolerance privilege for Jews, issued by the prince of Kalisz, Bolesław the Pious in 1264.
On Saturday, representatives of Christian churches and communities in Kalisz issued a statement on this matter.
Representatives of Christian churches and communities react
“Kalisz has been a city of many religions and cultures that coexisted, respected and enriched each other for centuries. This heritage is important for us – the inhabitants of Kalisz – today and is the foundation on which we build good relations between us and stimulates us to cooperate for the good of our little one homeland of the Kalisz region “- it was written in the statement.
It was assessed that “the events of November 11 that took place in our city are painful because they undermine the basic human and Christian values, such as mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation”. “The incident of the burning of the Kalisz Statute hits the Jewish community in a special way. It is a manifestation of anti-Semitism. We express our sympathy to all people who are particularly affected and hurt by this event,” he added.
“As Christians of various denominations and ecclesial communities coexisting in Kalisz, we want to build the present and future of our city and our homeland in the spirit of the Gospel, love of neighbor and mutual respect” – wrote the signatories of the statement.
The document was signed by: Bishop Damian Bryl (Roman Catholic Church), Fr. Julian Kopiński (Polish Catholic Church – on behalf of the Kalisz Branch of the Polish Ecumenical Council), Fr. Michał Kühn (Evangelical-Augsburg Church), Fr. Mirosław Antosiuk (Orthodox Church), Fr. Roman Woznyak (Greek Catholic Church), pastor Jerzy Rycharski (Church of God in Christ) and pastor Andrzej Stawikowski (Church of God’s Word).
Notification to the prosecutor’s office
On Friday, the authorities of Kalisz informed that the mayor of the city notified the prosecutor’s office about the suspicion that the organizers of the march had committed a crime. The reaction of the authorities, as reported by the spokeswoman for the city’s president, Katarzyna Ciupek, concerns the march organized on the Independence Day, November 11, in Kalisz by a group of nationalists headed by Wojciech Olszański, under the pseudonym Aleksander Jabłonowski. The police are already dealing with the matter.
The anti-Semitic speeches were condemned by the chairman of the Committee for Dialogue with Judaism of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Rafał Markowski. “We strongly condemn anti-Semitic behavior in Kalisz. Such attitudes have nothing to do with patriotism. They undermine the dignity of a neighbor and destroy the social order and peace. They are in clear contradiction to the Gospel and the teaching of the Church” – he declared.
The head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Mariusz Kamiński, said on Saturday in RMF FM that the events were “shameful and scandalous”. He expressed the hope that those responsible for the anti-Semitic and racist incident would suffer the consequences.
Main photo source: TVN24