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24 Sep, 2018 12:13

‘A kick to Polish Jewry’: Anger after former Jewish cemetery turned into sports complex in Poland

‘A kick to Polish Jewry’: Anger after former Jewish cemetery turned into sports complex in Poland

Jewish groups have reacted with fury after a sports complex was built on the site of what they claim is a former cemetery in the Polish town of Klimontow.

Local authorities built a basketball court and football pitch on the site.

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The complex, which reportedly received more than $90,000 in government funding, was opened at the beginning of September, causing an uproar among the Jewish community who claimed that the town had been inhabited by Jewish residents before the Holocaust.

The head of the World Zionist Organization, Yaakov Haguel, said that the construction of the sports venue is “a kick delivered to Polish Jewry,” adding that he holds the Polish government responsible.

The Polish government must respect Jews as it does any other citizen. Such events must not be allowed to recur in Poland and beyond,” Haguel said.

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Meir Bulka, an Israeli Holocaust commemoration activist, expressed confidence that the town’s municipality knew about the location of the cemetery as they would have found graves while constructing the complex.

They laid down piping there. There is no doubt they encountered graves,” he said.

Rabbi Avraham Kriger, the director of the Shem Olam Holocaust Museum in Israel, said that the building of the complex was “deeply offensive to the Jewish People.”