Daily Israel Report

New Attack in Berlin: Vandals Desecrated Jewish Cemetery

Vandals desecrated six Jewish tombstones at a cemetery in Germany with graffiti including Nazi swastikas, police announced Wednesday.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 9/6/2012, 8:43 AM

vandalism
vandalism
Flash 90

Unknown vandals desecrated six Jewish tombstones at a cemetery in the northeastern German city of Rostock with graffiti including Nazi swastikas, police announced Wednesday.   

The attackers also scrawled slogans in blue paint including "Shit Jews" and the Nazi rallying cry "Sieg Heil" on the exterior walls of the graveyard,  Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.

The desecration took place on Monday.   

"We are tracking one suspect in particular. There was probably a group with him but I cannot say for sure," a police spokeswoman told AFP.

Last year, 30 Jewish gravestones were desecrated in the western city of Essen on the night of April 20, Adolf Hitler's birthday.

Last week, Rabbi Daniel Alter was beaten in broad daylight on a Berlin street by four youths of Arab descent who also threatened to kill his six-year-old daughter.

The assailants approached Rabbi Alter and asked him if he is a Jew. Upon hearing him answer in the affirmative, the men proceeded to hit him, while hurling anti-Semitic curses.

The attack caused a rabbinical college in Berlin to advise their students to refrain from wearing kippot in public.

“If you are no longer seen as a Jewish person, you are safer,” the rector of the college said at the time.

On Monday, a second attack occurred in the German capital when a group of Jewish schoolgirls from a Chabad school were verbally assaulted with anti-Semitic slurs.

Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, highlighted that the incident was not an isolated occurrence, adding that society bears the responsibility to respond to such attacks by sending a clear message to young people about the importance of fighting anti-Semitism.

The attacks came amid a bitter debate over a recent court ruling declaring that religious circumcision amounted to grievous bodily harm.

Due to a wave of protests from Jewish and Muslim communities, Berlin formally declared that doctors can legally perform the religious practice, but stopped short of authorizing a mohel to do so.