Jewish Graves Desecrated with Nazi Swastikas

Jewish Graves Desecrated with Nazi Swastikas

Jewish Graves Desecrated with Nazi Swastikas

"You will not erase our memory or our identity, not with vandalism nor with anything else", the chief rabbi of the city of Strasbourg, Harold Abraham Weill, stated. Some were also marked with the number "14" - a tribute to the "14 words", a racist pledge originally crafted by American white supremacists that has been adopted by neo-Nazi groups around the world.

French police have launched an investigation after Nazi swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were spray-painted on 107 graves in a Jewish cemetery near Strasbourg. Graffiti was also discovered on Tuesday in the eastern village of Schaffhouse-sur-Zorn, authorities said.

"We have to respect the right to believe", he said.

France has Europe's biggest Jewish community - about 550,000 - and antisemitic attacks are common, with more than 500 alone in 2018.

On Tuesday evening, French MPs approved a non-legally binding resolution modelled on the definition of anti-Semitism set by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

He later added: "we will fight with all of our force so that the antisemitism poison does not contaminate the Republic".

In response to the latest in a string of such acts of anti-Semitic vandalism, France is to open a national bureau to lead the fight against hate crimes.

Despite that figure, anti-Semitic attacks across the country are common and have increased over the a year ago, with 541 attacks happening in 2018 alone - a 74 per cent increase from 311 in 2017 according to statistics released by the government of France.

He added: "Those who attack them, even in their graves, are not worthy of the idea we have of France".

"I want to say to those who think they can come here in the middle of the night and tarnish the memory of those who are buried here".

In February, 96 Jewish graves in Quatzenheim, just over 10 kilometres away from Westhoffen, were desecrated.

The office will be charged with investigating all anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and anti-Muslim acts, he said.

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