Poland’s ministries of foreign affairs and culture condemned the recent act of vandalism that targeted tombs of Soviet soldiers at a military cemetery in Warsaw.
“On many occasions, the Foreign Ministry condemned acts of vandalism at cemeteries and other memorial sites. This must never happen, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice in line with the current legislation. In our cultural environment, the memory of the deceased and respect to their remains is of particular importance,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The Culture Ministry also condemned the attack, saying that the consequences of this and other similar attacks “will be fixed immediately.”
“Burial sites must be protected in line with the Polish laws, existing international agreements and norms of international cooperation,” the statement reads, adding that Poland is fulfilling its obligations under the 1994 agreement with Russia on care and maintenance of memorial sites to victims of wars and repressions.
According to an earlier report by the Polish Press Agency, Warsaw police are investigating the incident. Additional police patrols were sent to the area.
The ministry added that the incident “should not be viewed as a demonstration of views shared by a more or less significant Polish public group” and that it “contradicts the Polish tradition of respecting the burial sites of deceased military and civilian victims of wars, regardless of their nationality and descent.”
On March 21, it became known that the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw’s Zwirki I Wigury Street was desecrated by vandals. Founded in 1950, the site is the burial place of about 22,000 Soviet soldiers who died fighting against Nazi Germany. In all, more than 660,000 Soviet soldiers were killed in the Polish territory during World War II.
Vandalism against burial sites of Soviet soldiers and other Soviet-era monuments have become a routine occurrence in Poland in recent years.