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Madonna Offends in Warsaw, Poland by Performing on Uprising Anniversary


“The concert’s goal is to ridicule God and our religion.”

Madonna’s concert tour continues to be rocked by controversy, this time in Warsaw where the pop star met bitter criticism for performing on the solemn day Poland memorializes the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

Her concert began just hours after sirens blared during which citizens stand for a minute of silence to honor the Polish revolt against the Nazis 68 years ago, when an estimated 15,200 Polish insurgents were killed or went missing and an estimated 200,000 civilians were subsequently murdered by the Nazis. More than half a million were deported from Warsaw and some 25% of the city’s buildings were left in rubble. Madonna’s concert began as the nation’s Catholic worshipers held memorial prayer services, according to media reports.

An online petition organized by the “Youth Crusade” gathered 54,000 signatures asking the concert be canceled out of respect for those killed. It read:

“August 1 is a day of remembrance in Poland. We pay our respects to those who survived and those who perished in the uprising. We won't allow the desecration of our hallowed symbols."

Haaretz offers more details on the protest the pop star met leading up to the concert:

Promotional posters adorning the city days before the show were sprayed with black paint and symbols of the uprising.

“People who have no love for the motherland are urging our youth to go to watch dances by half-nude women instead of paying their respects to heroic warriors,” said parliament members from the right-wing opposition party Law and Justice ‏(PIS‏).

Meantime, members of the Catholic youth association, under the direction of local priests, held a mass vigil in Warsaw, deriding the Madonna concert as being “in opposition to sacred Christian values,” and as “a profane desecration of the faith of the Polish people. The concert’s goal is to ridicule God and our religion.”

Haaretz reports that concert organizers claim they didn’t know the significance of the date when the concert was booked and said the singer would honor the Warsaw Uprising during the sold-out show.

Madonna screened a two-and-a-half minute World War II-era newsreel about the 1944 uprising in the beginning of her show, AFP reported, quoting the Polish PAP news agency.

According to the BBC, the spokeswoman for tour organizer Live Nation, Ania Pietrzak, told the Press Association: "It is an important moment in Polish history, so we have decided to remind people of that moment."

Devout Catholics also complained about the content of her show. AFP reports:

The Youth Crusade also slammed the 53-year-old Queen of Pop's on-stage antics as "attacking the Catholic faith... offending Jesus Christ by burning crosses and wearing a crown of thorns" as well as promoting homosexuality and pornography.

Warsaw Archbishop Henryk Hoser urged residents to pray against what he termed Madonna's "blasphemous concert". Poland remains one of Europe's most devoutly Roman Catholic countries.

This latest controversy comes on the heels of Madonna’s Paris concert during which she showed a video clip containing an image of right-wing politician Marine Le Pen with a swastika on her forehead. The same video image was seen at her earlier Tel Aviv concert. She prompted boos after ending another Paris concert in July – for which tickets had cost some $300 - after just 45 minutes.

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