‘Absolutely Scandalous’: Polish Lawmaker Uses Fire Extinguisher On Hanukkah Candle

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A Polish lawmaker used a fire extinguisher on Tuesday to extinguish candles on a menorah.

Video shows Grzegorz Braun lashing out against the Jewish symbol the country’s parliament had erected for Hanukkah, according to The Associated Press. Smoke from the fire extinguisher clouded the room as the Confederation party lawmaker, known for his statements alleging a plot to turn Poland into a “Jewish state,” doused the lit candle.

Speaker of the Parliament Szymon Holownia called the incident “absolutely scandalous” after disciplining Braun by excluding him from the remainder of the day’s parliamentary session, according to the outlet. Holownia said he is reporting Braun to prosecutors and “hopes [Braun] will not return soon.”

“Poland is home to all religions,” Holownia said, per the outlet.

Parliament issued a financial penalty against Braun, which forced him to forfeit half of three months of his salary and go without per diems for six months, AP reported. Rabbi Shalom Ber Stambler said the Hanukkah ceremony was conducted peacefully until Braun extinguished the candles that had been lit for the sixth night of the Jewish holiday, per the outlet.

“He was doing it in a very brutal way,” Stambler said, according to AP.

One woman who tried to stop Braun needed medical attention due to kickback smoke emitted from the extinguisher, according to the outlet. The incident occurred the same day that newly elected Prime Minister Donald Tusk delivered his inaugural speech, the outlet noted.

“This is unacceptable, this must never happen again,” Tusk said of Braun’s conduct, per AP. “This is a disgrace.”