Jewish cemetery desecrated near Lithuanian capital

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 25, 2006 18:32

A Jewish cemetery near the Lithuanian capital was desecrated overnight, with 19 tombstones toppled and some smashed, the head of the country's Jewish community said Sunday. Simonas Alperavicius said the attack at the cemetery in Suderve, 26 kilometers (16 miles) east of the capital, Vilnius, probably took place sometime on Saturday night. "This is an act of vandalism and those who did it must be found and prosecuted," Alperavicius told The Associated Press. Police did not immediately comment on the attack. Alperavicius said one of the desecrated tombstones was that of a well-known Yiddish linguist from Lithuania, Chackelis Lemchen. He said police were investigating. Alperavicius said he did not know the motive behind the attack, but speculated that it could be linked to the 65th anniversary of the June 23, 1941 uprising of Lithuanian nationalists against the Soviet Union.


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