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City Sights

Vandals Deface One Of Wrocław’s Centennial Stones

 

Yesterday it emerged that vandals had defaced the centennial stone located near Trzebnicki bridge.

Designed by Karl Klimm, the stone is one of three originally erected by Brelsau's municipal authorities to commemorate the start of the twentieth century.

The stones originally bore the name of Breslau and the date 1900-1901. However when the city became Polish in 1945, the German inscriptions were removed and Wrocław was added. This change was later reverted on two of the stones in September 2003.

Some nationalists nonetheless detest such reminders of the city's German heritage, something that would appear to have been the motive behind yesterday's vandalism.

As the above photo shows, the word 'Breslau' on the stone has been crossed out and replaced with Wrocław. The 'o' has also been altered to include the Celtic cross, a symbol that is often embraced by white nationalist groups (an example of which can be seen in the image below, which shows some white power graffiti near the Wroclavia shopping centre).

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The defacing of the centennial stone is not the first instance of people taking issue with examples of German 'influence' in the Wrocław. 

Back in October 2016, an anti-Germanisation protest took place inside Wrocław City hall. The people involved in the demonstration were angry at the possibility of streets being named after German architects who helped build the city during the Breslau era.

One of those who take part in the protest was Gazeta Polska journalist Andrzej Górnik, who had the following to say about the street name proposal:

"We have a lot of figures who were killed while fighting for a free Poland. Many of them were killed by the Germans. Naming the names of Wroclaw after German heroes is a disgrace and we can not agree."

In the same year Pegida were also forced to cancel a demonstration in Wrocław due to threats from Poland's far-right groups, who did not want a German-born organisation to gain prominence here (even though they agree with the group's opposition to Islamic immigration). 

In an article titled "Stop the Arabs or the Germans?", which was published on a right-wing ultras website, an anonymous blogger explained why he was opposing the Pegida protest:

"Wrocław should be the last place where Germany does anything. Why? Well, because in the eyes of many older Germans and young revisionists, Wrocław is still their "Breslau" and many would have the name "Breslau" returned formally."

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Meanwhile, the city's maintenance board have been informed about the damage to the stone and will repair it soon. 

Gregor Gowans

The founder and editor of Wroclaw Uncut, Gregor has been running the website since its inception in 2012. A Wroclawian for almost 10 years, Gregor writes on a wide variety of topics including, food & drink, nightlife, local news and politics. He is also a regular guest on Radio Ram's Sunday lunch programme.

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