Polish museum scraps show featuring threats to beat Jews

Krakow’s foremost historical museum is facing calls for an external review after showcasing a play that references beating up Jews.

The appeal to Mayor Jacek Majchrowski to scrutinize the Museum of Krakow from FestivALT, a Krakow-based organization that produces Jewish arts and activism events, and 11 other Jewish groups along with two prominent rabbis.

Earlier this year, the museum posted on its YouTube channel and included in an exhibition intended for children a recording of a play by the Malik family, which is well-known in Krakow for its nativity scene productions.

The museum removed the video, which it had featured to celebrate the local nativity scene heritage, this month following an internal review.

The video, which FestivALT’s founder said had been viewed by thousands of people, shows the actors singing about Jews at least 30 times. Some of the mentions are in a violent or negative context. The show is centered around a puppet theater in which one figure appears to be an Orthodox Jew with sidelocks. Another, holding a stick, wears what resembles traditional Polish garb.

As a puppeteer animates the figures, actors from the Malik family troupe sing a duet by the two puppets. The voice of the character holding a stick sings: “Jews! Jews! I will teach you, I will teach you. How I will thrash you from behind, how I will thrash you in front with this stick.”


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