Response to Political Banner Containing Swastikas Displayed in Southbury

The following message is issued jointly by Gary Jones on behalf of the Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut and Rabbi Eric Polokoff on behalf of B’nai Israel Southbury: The Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut and B’nai Israel Southbury commend the Southbury Board of Selectmen for its bipartisan statement condemning the use of swastikas on a political banner displayed briefly over the weekend. 


The display of a swastika to make a partisan political point is not only morally wrong, it trivializes the Holocaust and the suffering of the Jewish people brought about by Nazi Germany and its collaborators. As the Board of Selectmen’s statement notes, Southbury has a celebrated history of opposing Nazism and the hate that it represents. By forcefully speaking out against the use of the swastika and other symbols of hate, the Town has added a new chapter to that celebrated history.


The Board of Selectmen has been informed that a group of protestors at Playhouse Corner displayed a swastika on Saturday, July 24, 2021. We are saddened and disturbed to learn that this has occurred in our town. Southbury has a rich history of opposition to the Nazi symbol and what it stands for. The display of a swastika or similar symbols of hate, which are a false analogy to the reality of the Holocaust, have no place in Southbury. Displays such as this cheapen the memory of the millions of lives lost and ignore the trauma that lasts for generations. While our Board certainly respects the right of protestors to assemble peacefully and speak freely on topics of interest to them, we condemn in the strongest possible terms the use of any symbols of hate to do so. The display of a swastika in the Town of Southbury is contrary to everything we believe in as a community. Our Board stands strongly against hate and bigotry in all its forms, and together with all those in our community who expect and deserve to know that their elected leaders will work together to ensure that all people feel safe in Southbury.