WARSAW, Poland — The World Jewish Congress has expressed its “disgust and outrage” following reports that an effigy made to look like a stereotypical Jew was hanged and burned in a Polish town as part of an Easter ritual.
Robert Singer, CEO of the New York-based group, said in a statement that “Jews are deeply disturbed by this ghastly revival of medieval anti-Semitism that led to unimaginable violence and suffering.”
Residents, among them children, beat and burned the effigy in the southeastern town of Pruchnik on Good Friday. The figure represented Judas, the disciple of Christ who betrayed him according to the New Testament.
“One can only wonder how John Paul II who taught Catholics in his native Poland and all over the world that antisemitism is a sin against God and man would have reacted to this flagrant rejection of his teachings. We can only hope that the Church and other institutions will do their best to overcome these frightful prejudices which are a blot on Poland’s good name,” Singer said.
Poles also expressed their disgust at the revival of the anti-Semitic ritual. Some posted photos online of the same ritual being carried out before World War II.
Crux staff contributed to this report.