Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Burned Haredi Jew Effigy Represented George Soros, Polish Defendant Says

WARSAW, Poland – The defendant on trial in Poland for burning an effigy of a haredi Orthodox Jew said it was supposed to represent Jewish philanthropist George Soros.

Piotr Ryba testified Monday in a Wroclaw municipal court about the effigy burned in the central market of the city in November 2015 at the end of a demonstration against taking in Muslim refugees.

Ryba is accused of “public incitement to hatred on the grounds of religion and nationality to an unspecified group of Jews by burning an effigy.”

Soros, an Israeli-American Jewish billionaire, is not an Orthodox Jew.

“The effigy was prepared by the National Radical Camp,” Ryba told the court, according to reports. “It was to be an effigy of George Soros. I have not seen him. I did not know how Soros looks. I feel manipulated by the whole situation. I was, and I am, a patriot.”

The trial has been ongoing for several weeks.

Aleksander Gleichgewicht, chairman of the Jewish community in Wroclaw, was at the protest as a counterdemonstrator and also testified Monday, the last day of witness testimony. He said he was shocked to discover that the effigy was a stereotypical image of a Hasidic Jew with a black hat, beard, side curls and black clothing, just as Jews were portrayed in Nazi Germany propaganda in the 1930s.

He recalled the situation in Nazi Germany.

“First they burned buildings and effigies, then living people,” Gleichgewicht said.

The next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21, when a verdict is expected to be delivered.




Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.