Dozens of Jewish graves vandalised at cemetery in eastern France

AFP

3rd December, 2019 11:54:19 printer

Dozens of Jewish graves vandalised at cemetery in eastern France

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

"It's a shock," Maurice Dahan, president of the Jewish consistory for the Bas-Rhin region, told AFP, adding that most of the graves were daubed with swastikas.

The government's regional authority said it was investigating the damage to 107 graves at the cemetery in Westhoffen, around 25 kilometres (15 miles) west of Strasbourg.

And about 20 kilometres away it said that anti-Jewish inscriptions were also found in the village of Schaffhouse-sur-Zorn.

The Alsace region has suffered a rash of racist vandalism over the past year, most notably the desecration of 96 tombs at a cemetery in Quatzenheim in February, which drew nationwide outrage over a spate of anti-Semitic attacks.

President Emmanuel Macron, during a visit to inspect the damage, vowed to crack down on hate speech, including by an increased focus on educating against racism in schools.

The rising number of anti-Jewish offences reported to police -- up 74 percent in 2018 from the previous year -- have caused alarm in the country that is home to both the biggest Jewish and the biggest Muslim communities in Europe.


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