Graves Vandalized in Hungarian Jewish Cemetery

About 20 graves vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in Gyongyos, including the scattering of human remains.

Ben Ariel ,

Swastikas on Jewish cemetery (illustration)
Swastikas on Jewish cemetery (illustration)

About 20 graves have been vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in Hungary, the leader of a small local Jewish community said Sunday, according to The Associated Press (AP).

The leader, Peter Weisz, said the damage to the graves in the northeastern city of Gyongyos, including the scattering of human remains, was "unprecedented."

Weisz said a number of graves dating as far back as the late 1800s were of ancestors of some of the 80 current members of the recently re-established Jewish community in Gyongyos.

He added relations with other religious groups in the city of 30,000 people were "exemplary," according to the AP report.

The office of Prime Minister Viktor Orban condemned the "barbaric deed" and vowed to launch a program this year to renovate neglected cemeteries.

Hungary has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks over the past several years, many of which were perpetrated by members and supporters of the openly anti-Semitic Jobbik party.

 In November of 2012, one of Jobbik’s members released a statement saying that a list should be compiled of all of the Jewish members of government.

He was followed by another Jobbik member who called publicly for the resignation of a fellow MP who claimed to have Israeli citizenship.

Last summer, at the height of Israel’s counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, a town mayor linked to Jobbik was filmed ordering the hanging of effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and former president Shimon Peres in protest against the conflict.