Częstochowa Umschlagplatz Monument Desecrated

March 30, 2021

Sources: Alon Goldman, Jolanta Urbańska and Gazeta Wyborcza

Yesterday, Holocaust denier vandals desecrated the monument, in memory of Częstochowa Jews, located on the site of the former Umschlagplatz, (now named “Samuel Willenberg Square”) from which approximately 40,000 Czestochowa Jews, from 22nd September 22 to 7th October 1942, were packed into six transports and sent to their deaths at the Treblinka German death camp.

On the monument, the vandals wrote the names of Jürgen Graf, a well-known Holocaust denier, and Ursula Haverbeck, a neo-Nazi Holocaust denier. A complaint was filed by the municipality to the police who opened an investigation and the municipality undertook to take care of the cleanliness of the monument

The desecration was discovered by the Straż Miejski (City Guard), who regularly patrol the area, who immediately reported the crime to police.

Częstochowa City Councillor and advisor to the Mayor on Jewish community matters, Jolanta Urbańska, said, “This is something more than just ordinary, thoughtless vandalism. These inscriptions clearly indicate that this act was perpetrated by people well-versed in Nazi symbolism. The numbers written on the monument are a symbol of the Nazi salute, and the two names on the monument are the names of people, so-called historians, who have denied the Holocaust. It is terrifying that this happens in the middle of Europe in the 21st century”.

Jolanta Urbańska stated that this crime is the result of what has been going on in Poland for years. This is the effect of consenting to the propagation of extreme right-wing, even anti-Semitic, slogans.,

“No wonder that such terrible things happen. This permission to propagate extreme right-wing and even fascist attitudes brings such terrible results. The area, where the monument stands, is monitored by the city”, she said.

Camera footage has been secured and given to the police, which could help catch vandals.

“I reported the case to the Town Hall”, said Jolanta Urbańska. “From there, I received an assurance that, as soon as possible and of course, after the evidence has been secured by the police, the monument would be cleared of these filthy inscriptions”.

In writing to Alon Goldman, Cr. Urbańska stated, “What can I write? That I am ashamed? Yes! Yes! That I’m sorry? Yes! Yes! What can I write? That I’m ashamed? Yes! That I ask for forgiveness? Yes! Today I am ashamed that I’m Polish”.

Thanks to the efforts of Cr. Jolanta Urbańska, and with the urging of World Society Vice-President Alon Goldman, the City Council has now cleaned off all the marks of desecration and restored it to its original condition.