Jewish synagogue WWII memorial vandalized in Strasbourg, France

"It is apparently a new antisemitic incident in our city, and we are doing all we can to find those responsible and bring them to trial."

March 2, 2019 20:20
2 minute read.
A cameraman films the memorial stone marking the site of Strasbourg's Old Synagogue

A cameraman films the memorial stone marking the site of Strasbourg's Old Synagogue, which was destroyed by the Nazis in World War II, after it was vandalised overnight on March 2, 2019 in Strasbourg, eastern France. The synagogue, which was the Jewish community's main place of worship in the city, . (photo credit: FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP)


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Strasbourg's memorial to the synagogue that was sacked and burned by the Nazis during World War II was vandalized on Saturday, two weeks after 100 Jewish graves were desecrated in the same French city.

Strasbourg's Deputy Mayor Alain Fontanel announced the destruction of the monument on his Facebook page and dozens of people piled up on the case.
"It is apparently a new antisemitic incident in our city, and we are doing all we can to find those responsible and bring them to trial," Fontanel wrote.

Following the desecration of the graves this month, President Emmanuel Macron visited the cemetery and even promised "acts and laws" that will follow in the wake of the incident. Even before that, "yellow vest" protesters attacked Jewish philosopher Alain Finkielkraut in Paris, yelling "dirty Jew" and "go back to Tel Aviv."

Yael Hamias, a resident of Strasbourg, told Ynet after the destruction of the cemetery that "what is happening here is getting worse, and that frightens me." Hamias, who lives near the cemetery, said she wanted to leave France because of the rise in antisemitism and added that "I am particularly worried about my daughter, I can not let her go out in the evening like we did in Israel because she is Jewish.

"I want her to come straight home after school and not leave the house," she said. "Last year we were on vacation in Israel and she went out until 1 am, I was not afraid like I am here," Hamias added.

Vice chairman of the World Zionist Organization (WZO), Yaakov Hagoel strongly condemned the Strasbourg antisemitism.

"Again we are witness to distressing events affecting French Jewry," he said. "This time, it was a monument memorializing a synagogue burned by the Nazis. There are those who are attempting to uproot the memories, but we will not allow them to succeed."

"It's time to make antisemitism a top priority and enlist every nation in the world to deal with this cancerous tumor. We can treat this as an isolated incident, but it's time to admit that it's an anti-Semitic attack," Hagoel added.

Jewish Agency Chairman, Isaac Herzog said he was "horrified by the events which occurred today in Strasbourg, France, and calls for harsh action to be taken against the waves of hatred towards Jews.

"The destruction of the memorial for the synagogue, torched by the Nazis during World War II  shocks the hearts of people of every religion. It is another sign of the chain of difficult events sweeping across Europe."

On Friday night a 12-year-old boy was arrested for drawing dozens of swastikas and antisemitic messages on a school playground in New York City.

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