WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish couple who destroyed a World War II Jewish hideout located in an apartment they were renting from the city of Warsaw have pleaded guilty to ruining a historic site, an official said Tuesday.
The couple, identified as Dariusz P. and Elzbieta P, were indicted after city authorities discovered in 2012 that they had removed the wardrobe to create a kitchen in the small apartment. During the Second World War, Warsaw ghetto inmate Leon Jolson made the hideout behind a giant wardrobe in the apartment while working outside the ghetto perimeter. Jolson, his mother Blima, and his wife Anna hid there in 1942. His mother died in hiding, but Jolson and his wife remained there until September 1944 and survived the Holocaust.
In 1999, the hideout was listed as a historic monument and was being checked by city authorities from time to time. Spokesman for Warsaw prosecutors, Dariusz Slepokura, said the couple pleaded guilty. He also said he believes the court case should be closed.