Desecration of ancient German Jewish cemetery: Not anti-Semitism - this time

Police, Jewish community of Worms say vandalism of ancient cemetery was work of crazy person who escaped custody, not anti-Semitism.

Yoni Kempinski ,

Rabbi Avichai Apel
Rabbi Avichai Apel
Arutz Sheva

Worshipers who came to the ancient Jewish cemetery in Worms in Germany yesterday were shocked to find dozens of gravestones desecrated, leaving many of the grave markers covered in blue paint.

Rabbi Avichai Apel, a member of the Executive Board of the Orthodox Rabbi Conference Germany (ORD) and the Standing Committee of the Council of European Rabbis, said following the incident: "My inquiry revealed that this was done by an eccentric person who is borderline insane and who escaped from hospitalization and painted in blue everything she came across on her path."

A senior officer from the Reinfaltz police department who is in charge of securing Jewish institutions, told Rabbi Menachem Brommer, who works to maintain Germany's Jewish cemeteries, that the woman responsible for the vandalism had been caught with spray pain in her hands and that she was in custody.

The cemetery will be closed until next Thursday. Over this period, efforts will be made to remove the blue paint in a manner which does not further damage the ancient gravestones.

Rabbi Apel added: "Unfortunately, there are many anti-Semitic incidents in Germany and the security forces and communities are doing everything they can to deal with this. However, in this case it was an isolated act by a crazy woman who is different, and it is not an act of anti-Semitism.

Council of European Rabbis spokesman Moshe Friedman added: "I recommend that anyone who wants to send dramatic messages to the media at least find out the details first. If he can do something on the issue, apart from making declarative statements, then he is welcome to do so."