Polish Jewish cemetery vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti

Following the Tarnow Jewish cemetery rededication last month, vandals wrote anti-Semitic graffiti on its walls.

By World Israel News Staff

A month after the 16th century Jewish cemetery in Tarnow, Poland completed its two-and-a-half year renovations, vandals painted on its fence “Jews eat children. Jadowniki eats Jews,” reported JTA.

Jadowniki is a village near Tarnow in southern Poland. The vandalism may have been referring to World War II-era incidents that involved a Jewish farmer and a land grab. There were also righteous gentiles in Jadowniki, during the war, who hid four Jews and were threatened with death.

The vandalism was a “result of anti-Semitism and deep depravity,” Natalia Gancarz of the Committee for the Protection of Monuments of Jewish Culture in Tarnow said, according to JTA.

The Committee called on residents to help clean up the graffiti on Monday, stating, “Let us show that in our city, there is no place for these types of acts of hooliganism,” reported The Jerusalem Post.

“[T]he majority of Tarnów residents, like us, … oppose all forms of hooliganism, boorishness, antisemitism, or any discrimination and humiliation of other people, their origin, appearance, sex, age, etc.” said the Committee, according to the Post.

The European Union, state, regional and local authorities, and private donors subsidized the renovations that cost $800,000 (€700,000), said the Post.

Included were repairs to the wall, building of a driveway for the disabled, and installing new lighting. About 100 gravestones were indexed and repaired as well.

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The cemetery contains about 3,000 graves, with the oldest legible gravestone dating to 1688.

The earliest record of Jews living in Tarnow dates back to the 15th century.

At the start of World War II, some 25,000 Jews lived in the village, making up almost half its population. The entire population was exterminated during the war, according to the Post.

The only remnant of Jewish life in Tarnow is the cemetery.

The cemetery was added to the registry of protected monuments in 1976. It is the largest cooperative Jewish cemetery restoration in Poland, according to NGO Friends of Jewish Heritage in Poland.