Synagogue memorial stone in Strasbourg vandalized

"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 22:01
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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A memorial to the majestic Synagogue du Quai Kléber in Strasbourg, France, which was burned to the ground by Nazis during World War II, was vandalized Friday night in what appears to be the most recent in a series of antisemitic attacks in the region.

The black marble memorial stone, which commemorated the synagogue and its dates of construction and destruction, was toppled from its stone plinth by vandals sometime either on Friday night or in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg Alain Fontanel posted a picture of the vandalized memorial stone, alongside an image of the synagogue in its former glory, on his Facebook page, stating that the incident was likely antisemitic in nature.

“We will do everything possible with the police forces so that those responsible are arrested and prosecuted,” Fontanel said.

Last month, some 100 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, 10 km. from Strasbourg, were desecrated and spray-painted with swastikas.

One of the gravestones was daubed with the words “Black Wolves,” a militant far-right separatist group from the Alsace region, where Quatzenheim is located, which was active in the 1970s and 1980s.

In one attack in 1976, the Black Wolves group set fire to and destroyed the Natzweiler-Struthof Nazi concentration camp located in Alsace.

In December, a Jewish cemetery in the nearby town of Herrlisheim was also desecrated, with 37 gravestones spray-painted with swastikas and other graffiti.

Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Isaac Herzog, said he was “outraged” by the incident and called for action against what he described as “the waves of hatred” against Jews.

“Vandalizing the memorial stone for the synagogue that was burned down in the Second World War by the Nazis must cause outrage in the hearts of the people of all faiths, and is another signal in a chain of severe incidents that are washing over Europe,” Herzog said.

Beyond Strasbourg, there have been more worrying acts of antisemitism.

In February, noted Jewish French philosopher Prof. Alain Finkielkraut was verbally assaulted in Paris by “Yellow Vest” protesters, who called him a “dirty Zionist s***,” and yelled at him, “You’re going to die,” and “You’re going to hell.”

Also in February, pictures of late French government minister and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil, which had been placed on postboxes in Paris, were smeared with swastikas.

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