Daily Israel Report

57 Jewish Graves Desecrated in Hungary

Unnamed vandals have desecrated 57 graves in a Jewish cemetery some 200 miles southwest of Budapest.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/23/2012, 6:30 PM

Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary
Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary
Reuters

Unnamed vandals this week desecrated 57 graves in a Jewish cemetery some 200 miles southwest of Budapest.

The cemetery, located in the city of Kaposvar, sustained serious damage, worth some 12,000 euros, according to Jewish community leader Lazlo Rona.  Rona, head of the association of Jewish communities in the city, told the Hungarian nationwide MTI news agency that the vandalism was "clearly motivated by racism." There are some 100,000 Jews living in the country, which has a population of 10 million.

Kaposvar Mayor Karoly Szita was quoted by MTI as saying that he was "upset and disgusted."  Local police launched an investigation into the vandalism, which occurred Sunday morning.

It is unclear whether the desecration of the graves was associated with the discovery a week ago of wanted Nazi war criminal Ladislaus Csizsik-Csatary, 97.

Csizsik-Csatary was a police commander in charge of a Jewish ghetto in the town of Kassa --- today, the town of Kosice in Slovakia. During World War II, he helped send 15,700 Jews to their deaths at the Auschwitz death camp. After the Allies won the war, he fled the town. In 1948, he was convicted in absentia of war crimes in Czechoslovakia and was sentenced to death.

The office of the Hungarian state prosecutor announced three days after he was found that Csizsik-Csatary had been arrested on charges of committing war crimes.

Last weekend, vandals desecrated the Jewish cemetery in Anklam, police said, with some completely uprooted from their settings. Massive destruction was obvious from one corner of the cemetery to the other.

Local media in Germany reported the Anklam attorney general conducted an investigation because “the dead were disturbed,” and due to destruction of property. Police are seeking witnesses to the crime.