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Sat, 07 Dec 2019 09:35 GMT

Over 100 Jewish Graves Desecrated in Eastern France


7Dnews London

Tue, 03 Dec 2019 20:22 GMT

A Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg in eastern France was vandalised on Tuesday December 3rd, just hours after similar vandalism in a nearby village. More than 100 graves were found covered with swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti, officials said.

Most of the graves were daubed with swastikas. Maurice Dahan, president of the Jewish consistory for the Bas-Rhin region said, "It's a shock."

The attacks took place in Westhoffen, a small commune, around 25 km (15 miles) west of Strasbourg. The government's regional authority said it was investigating the damage done to 107 graves.

Anti-Jewish inscriptions were also found in the nearby village of Schaffhouse-sur-Zorn, about 20 km away, AFP reported.

The Alsace region has suffered a wave of racist vandalism over the past year, including the desecration of 96 graves at a cemetery in Quatzenheim, north-west of Strasbourg in February.

This attack, which followed a spate of anti-Semitic incidents, caused nationwide outrage and condemnation.

During a visit to inspect the damage, President Emmanuel Macron, vowed to eradicate hate speech and to increase focus on education against racism in schools.

The incidents in eastern France come only days after unidentified vandals painted swastikas on a monument to a prominent Yiddish author in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

Chief Rabbi of Ukraine Moshe Reuven Azman posted pictures of the monument to Sholem Aleichem daubed with red spray-painted swastikas outside a Kiev synagogue on November 25th, according to AP. Police have opened an investigation.

In France, the rising number of anti-Jewish offences reported to police was up 74% in 2018 from the previous year. Home to both the biggest Jewish and the biggest Muslim communities in Europe, these incidents have caused deep public concern.