Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe
Photo: One of the desecrated tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in Strausbourg. [Source: Ynet] According to The Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), an umbrella group of Jewish organizations throughout France, there was extensive damage done to a number of the tombs in the Cronenbourg cemetery. In addition to swastikas being drawn on 18 gravestones, the German words “juden ruas”, or “Jews out”, were written on one of the tombs. Another 13 tombs were overturned.
After learning of the desecration, French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared that he “firmly condemns this unbearable act, the expression of odious racism.” A member of the Israeli Knesset, Shlomo Molla, who was in Strasbourg attending events marking Remembrance Day, commented on the tomb’s vandalism. “It was a horrible sight, which probably stemmed from the rising anti-Semitism [in] Europe.”
The fact that the vandalism occurred on the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is believed by some to be more than a coincidence. Laurent Schmoll, a leader in Strasbourg’s Jewish community, noted that the vandalism occurred “at the moment we celebrate the anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps, and I think there has to be a link.”
This is not the first time that Strasbourg’s Jewish cemeteries has been targeted by anti-Semitic messages. Similar acts in previous years have occurred on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Strasbourg, a city home to approximately 17,000 Jews.
For more information, please see:
AP – Jewish cemetery desecrated in eastern France – 27 January 2010
JTA – French Jewish cemetery vandalized – 27 January 2010
YNET – Jewish cemetery in Strasbourg desecrated – 27 January 2010