The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants commended the Czech government on Monday night for the stiff penalties handed out to Miroslave Dano, Libor Mirga and Petr Hricko for vandalizing the Holocaust Memorial at Terezin.
The three were convicted for causing more than $100,000 worth of damage when they stole 824 bronze plaques from the site in 2008 and sold them to a scrap dealer. Mirga and Hricko, who fled to London, were sentenced in absentia to 4 1/2 and 3 1/2 years in jail respectively, while Dano, who was in police custody, was sentenced to four years.
"Vandalism against places of Holocaust martyrdom have become all-too-frequent in Europe and are especially painful to those who suffered through the horrors of that time," said American Gathering President Sam E. Bloch. "It is reassuring that authorities in Eastern and Central Europe recognize the critical importance of punishing those who would vandalize the sites where thousands upon thousands were murdered, and desecrate the memory of the victims of the Holocaust. We are gratified that neo-Nazis, skinheads and other thugs now know that their despicable actions have consequences."