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Polish Prosecutors Clear Auschwitz Soccer Chanters

By: JTA

Several Jewish organizations have criticized a Polish prosecutor’s decision not to try soccer fans who chanted about Jews and Auschwitz.

A spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office of Poznan in central Poland said last week that no charges would be brought against the fans because they did not mean to offend Jews when they chanted the slogans, according to the Glos Wielkopolski daily.

The spokesperson, Magdalena Mazur-Prus, was referring to chants at a match in September between the Lech Poznań team and Widzew, a club from the city of Lodz whose population was one-third Jewish before the Holocaust.

The Poznan fans shouted to the Lodz fans: “You belong in Auschwitz,” “ride on, Jews,” and “into the ovens,” according to the daily. It also reported the Poznan fans shouted: “Go to the gas, RTS,” an acronym which refers to the team from Lodz.

But the Poznan prosecutor’s office decided to drop charges because the chants were directed at fans, not Jews, and therefore were not intended as incitement to racial hatred, according to Mazur-Prus. “Of course, such cries are reprehensible and unacceptable, but not every wrongful conduct is a crime,” she said.

In a statement Tuesday, the president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor said that he was appalled by the decision.

“Unfortunately, extreme anti-Semitic chants like those in Poznan are regularly heard in many European stadiums, including in England and Holland, and the reaction of the authorities is minimal,” Kantor said, adding that this case and others “demonstrate that anti-Semitism has become the last acceptable prejudice in football.”

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, urged the Polish government to intervene and overturn the municipal prosecutor’s decision.

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4 Responses to “Polish Prosecutors Clear Auschwitz Soccer Chanters”

  1. In Germany these people would be imprisoned or fined or both. I have never experienced such anti-Semitism in today’s world like that from many Polish people.
    Why are these inhumane people allowed to get away with this? I moved from Europe last year after being there for nine years to get away from racism, so I have experienced it too.

  2. Ricky Height says:

    So, what do you expect? Foxman's demands are laughable. Do you think that these Pols take his demands seriously. These people don't come to the game to enjoy it, rather to torment Jews. This Is simply a microcosm of what is really transpiring in all of Europe!

  3. Ricky Height says:

    So, what do you expect? Foxman's demands are laughable. Do you think that these Pols take his demands seriously. These people don't come to the game to enjoy it, rather to torment Jews. This Is simply a microcosm of what is really transpiring in all of Europe!

  4. Ricky Height says:

    So, what do you expect? Foxman's demands are laughable. Do you think that these Pols take his demands seriously. These people don't come to the game to enjoy it, rather to torment Jews. This Is simply a microcosm of what is really transpiring in all of Europe!

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