Two arrested for vandalizing 84 Jewish graves in Denmark

Graves that were desecrated with swastikas are seen at the Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, France.  (photo credit: VINCENT KESSLER/ REUTERS)
Graves that were desecrated with swastikas are seen at the Jewish cemetery in Quatzenheim, France.
(photo credit: VINCENT KESSLER/ REUTERS)
Danish police have charged two people for desecrating and vandalizing 84 Jewish graves at the Ostre Kirkegard cemetery in the western town of Randers.
The two men, age 27 and 38 who are both locals, were charged with two counts of gross vandalism, according to local police.
The 84 tombstones were overturned and painted with green paint during the early hours of Saturday night, which also marked the 81st anniversary of Kristallnacht.
Burials in the cemetery date back to the early 19th century.
Police said that the men’s motive behind the attack were to target “a particular population group on the basis of their religion.”
Chief Police Inspector Klaus Arboe Rasmussen said “the cases have attracted a great deal of attention in the public, and this has also resulted in inquiries from citizens, whom I would like to thank. The prosecution will now remand the two men in custody while investigators continue to work on the cases.”
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said in a Facebook post that “the attacks at the weekend... are both an attack against Danish Jews and against all of us. Our Jewish citizens must be respected and not live in fear.”
Meanwhile, Jewish communities in several Scandinavian countries were shocked on Saturday when they woke up to find yellow “Jude” badges, like the ones the Nazis made Jews wear during the Holocaust, were stuck on Jewish buildings and several Jewish homes.
In a report released this week, Denmark’s Jewish Society said it had recorded 45 antisemitic incidents in 2018 compared with 30 in 2017.
The society said that this was the highest number reported since 2015. It also highlighted that these numbers included an increase in physical assault and harassment, vandalism, antisemitic slurs and discrimination.
In 2015, a Jewish man was killed during an attack on Copenhagen’s Great Synagogue. The man in his 30s was outside guarding the synagogue when the perpetrator opened fire.
Two police officers were injured in the attack.


Tags denmark jews