Jewish monument vandalized in Bulgaria

Monument in the town of Vidin vandalized with Islamic symbols.

Ben Ariel,


A monument put up by Jews in Bulgaria to thank the town of Vidin for preventing the deportation of its Jews during the Holocaust was vandalized, JTA reported Monday.

The Thanksgiving Monument, erected in 2003, was spray painted with the words “Allah,” “Palestine,” “Hamas,” and the Islamic star and crescent moon symbol, said the Shalom Organization of Jew in Bulgaria in a Facebook post.

The organization posted photos of the vandalism, which occurred on Saturday, on its Facebook page.

The mayor of the Vidin municipality, Ognyan Tsenkov, called the vandalism an “outrageous and unacceptable” act, the Shalom Organization said in its post. He reportedly ordered the monument to be immediately cleaned, according to JTA.

Shalom Organization President Alexander Oscar in a letter to the mayor thanked him for his firm statement and quick action, and stressed that the monument “will continue to be a symbol of the brotherhood and a long history between our two peoples,” the post also said.

In 2014, Bulgaria's Central Synagogue in Sofia was vandalized with graffiti reading “death to Jews” and a swastika. Four suspects were subsequently arrested.

The synagogue is the largest of just two still operating in Bulgaria, which hosts a tiny Jewish community of about 2,200 people.

In an anti-Semitic incident in 2015, players from the Israeli club Ashdod were chased from the field by fans during a friendly match against CSKA Sofia.

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