Warsaw synagogue attacked at night with 3 firebombs, no injuries reported

Warsaw synagogue attacked at night with 3 firebombs, no injuries reported


Warsaw’s main synagogue was attacked with firebombs by an unknown perpetrator, but sustained minimal damage and nobody was hurt, Poland’s chief rabbi said Wednesday. The incident was strongly condemned by political leaders.

The attack on the Nożyk Synagogue happened around 1 a.m., the country’s American-born chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, said. The synagogue was hit with three firebombs, or Molotov cocktails, and only sustained minimal damage “by tremendous luck or miracle,” he said.

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Hours later, the ambassadors of the U.S. and Israel gathered at the spot with Jewish community leaders and Polish officials representing the president, the national parliament and the city government to condemn the attack and express solidarity with Poland’s Jewish community.

Fire damage is visible on the façade of the Nożyk Synagogue in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. The synagogue was attacked with firebombs in the night by an unknown perpetrator, but sustained minimal damage and nobody was hurt. The incident was strongly condemned by political leaders.  (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

A black area that was the result of where the firebombs hit was visible near a ground floor window of the synagogue, the only surviving prewar Jewish house of prayer in the Polish capital.

“The Nożyk synagogue is a symbol of survival, and we stand in solidarity with Nożyk today and tomorrow,” U.S. Ambassador Mark Brzezinski told reporters at a briefing held near the damaged facade.

It was unclear who carried out the attack but police have opened an investigation, Schudrich said.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda wrote on X that he condemned “the shameful attack,” saying, “There is no place for antisemitism in Poland! There is no place for hatred in Poland!”

Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski noted that the incident fell on the 20th anniversary of Poland joining the European Union along with nine other countries, most of them Central European nations that had been under the Soviet sphere of influence for decades.

“Thank God no one was hurt. I wonder who is trying to disrupt the anniversary of our accession to the EU,” Sikorski wrote on X. “Maybe the same ones who scribbled Stars of David in Paris?”

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France said last year that it had been the target of a Russian online destabilization campaign that used automated social-media accounts to whip up controversy and confusion about spray-painted Stars of David that appeared on Paris streets and fed alarm about surging antisemitism in France during the Israel-Hamas war.

Poland, which until the Holocaust was the home of Europe’s largest Jewish community, numbering some 3.3 million, now counts a few thousand Jewish inhabitants in its population.



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