Poles admit destroying WWII Jewish hideout

September 10, 2013 - 3:35 PM
Poland Jewish Hideout

In this picture provided by the Jewish History Institute in Warsaw, Poland, a Jewish World War II hideout is pictured behind a wardrobe in a Warsaw apartment. Leon Jolson, who made the hideout, was hiding there with his family until Sept. 1944, after fleeing the Warsaw ghetto. Jolson and his wife Anna survived, and the hideout was put on the list of protected historic monuments, but in 2012 Warsaw authorities discovered that the tenants in the tiny apartment have knocked the wardrobe down and arranged a kitchen in the niche where the Jolson family had been hiding. The couple, identified only as Dariusz P. and Elzbieta P. have been indicted and have pleaded guilty of destroying the place, Dariusz Slepokura, a spokesman for Warsaw prosecutors said Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. They have asked for a suspended one-year prison term, without trial. (AP Photo/Jewish History Institute) POLAND OUT

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.