Strasbourg residents 'disgusted' as nearby Jewish cemetery desecrated

More than 100 tombstones were desecrated with antisemitic text and swastikas at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France.

Tombstones at Jewish Cemetery of Westhoffen near Strasbourg were desecrated with swastikas this week (photo credit: CONSISTOIRE OF THE LOWER RHINE)
Tombstones at Jewish Cemetery of Westhoffen near Strasbourg were desecrated with swastikas this week
(photo credit: CONSISTOIRE OF THE LOWER RHINE)
More than 100 tombstones were desecrated with antisemitic text and swastikas at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France.
The desecration was discovered Tuesday at the Jewish cemetery of Westhoffen near Strasbourg.
“I condemn very firmly the despicable antisemitic acts that have once again occurred the region and express my unreserved support of the Jewish community,” Jean-Luc Marx, the prefect of the Bas-Rhin region where Westhoffen is situated, said in a statement.
Corinne Haenel, a Jewish resident of Strasbourg, said she was shocked about what happened.
“When I heard what happened in the Jewish cemetery of Westhoffen, where a cousin of my grandfather is buried, I was speechless,” she told The Jerusalem Post. “I have to say that the tombs desecrated by this horrific symbol reminds me of the dark days through which my family lived.
“There is this feeling that despite the fact that these people are dead, it’s not enough,” Haenel stressed, “That their memory has had to soiled and their names cancelled out by Swastika painted on it, is shocking”
Haenel added that she was shocked and afraid, adding that “perhaps tomorrow bad days are coming.”
For Lea Stollon, who was born and raised in Strasbourg, but now lives in Israel said she is no longer shocked by these incidents anymore.
“Family of my grandfather are buried there, so are families of friends,” she told The Post. “So many people that lived through the War too.”
Despite not being shocked, she said that “it disgusts me each time. Why can't people just let dead rest peacefully?
“What does this kind of act bring to the people committing it? Joy? Pride?,” she questioned. “The dead can't talk, if they could, they would surely say that this world is not different from 1939. The same old jokes [are made] about Jews… the same stupid theories about jews wanting to control the world still exist and the same attacks toward them continue over and over again.”
Chief Rabbi of Strasbourg Rabbi Avraham Weil, said that this was the third time in less than a year that a Jewish cemetery had been desecrated in France.
“We are shocked and horrified... they are fooling the security forces here,” he said calling on police “to find a way to resolve the law resolutely against such perpetrators.
“Criminals apparently from the extreme Right sprayed an unclear inscription on a school in Rohr, located in the Bas-Rhine region as well.
“The writing was on the wall,” he said. “Only today did we realize that the writing meant that they intended to desecrate the Westhoffen Cemetery. We are shocked and appalled.”
Weil recalled that earlier the year the cemetery in Herrlisheim was desecrated, and a few months later the cemetery in Quatzenheim, about 10 km. from Strasbourg was also desecrated.
“About 100 gravestones were sprayed with graffiti and swastikas,” he said adding that at the time Swastikas were also sprayed on the monument in memory of the Holocaust victims.
Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog also reaction to the desecration.
“The alarming rise in the number of antisemitic incidents in France, and the increase in the severity of these attacks, is part of the worst wave of antisemitism the world has seen since World War II,” he said in a statement. “We must all unite in eradicating this scourge of evil.”


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