The New York statue of father Jerzy Popiełuszko, who was the symbol of adamant struggle against communism, has been attacked in an apparent hate crime. The statue, located in the traditionally Polish neighborhood of Greenpoint in New York City, was vandalized by unknown culprits who added a Hitler mustache to the statue, covered it with a black bag and added several anti-Polish slogans and symbols, such as the words “No Polish”.
The incident sparked outrage among the Polish-American community. The Consul General of Poland in New York, Adrian Kubicki, expressed hopes that New York’s authorities will draw proper conclusions from the attack and will ensure that the statue is better protected in the future.
Thank you @NYPDHateCrimes for investigating this saddening act of vandalism.
Popiełuszko statue in #Greenpoint is an important landmark for Polish community in #NYC, city standing for tolerance and freedom.
Father Popiełuszko fought for these values throughout his entire life. https://t.co/XHJHuYRSKP
— Adrian Kubicki (@Kubicki_Adrian) May 5, 2021
“Jerzy Popiełuszko was not only a priest and a blessed member of the Catholic Church, he was also a fighter for freedom. Without him, defeating communism in Poland would not be possible. New Yorkers completely understand such values, which is why we hope that security cameras will be installed near the statue,” he said.
Act of devastation of Father Popiełuszko statue in #Greenpoint made headlines in several local media today.
It’s an educational moment for all of us to learn about the meaning of symbols surrounding us.
Thanks to @News12, @NYDailyNews, @RadioRAMPA & @NowyDziennik for covering. pic.twitter.com/ZVdNJF3lSt
— Adrian Kubicki (@Kubicki_Adrian) May 6, 2021
The investigation into the statue’s vandalization is being conducted by a special unit of the New York Police Department which deals with racial and hate crimes.
Father Jerzy Popiełuszko was a Roman Catholic priest who became a symbol of both Polish “Solidarity” and the fight against communism. He was brutally murdered by communist security service officers in 1984. He was recognized as a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church and was beatified on behalf of former Pope Benedict XVI on June 6, 2010.
Title image: The vandalized statue of father Jerzy Popiełuszko in New York City’s Greenpoint, source: Twitter@@NYPDHateCrimes