Stickers shaped like yellow stars that Nazis made Jews wear during the Holocaust were placed on multiple Jewish sites in Denmark and Sweden on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, JTA reported Sunday.
In Denmark, the stickers were found on Saturday on the mailbox of Ella and Henrik Chievitz, a Jewish couple from Silkeborg, a town located 150 miles west of Copenhagen, and on the home of another Jewish family in the Copenhagen area.
In addition, vandals desecrated more than 80 graves at a Jewish cemetery in the western Danish town of Randers.
In Sweden, the same stickers were found at the Bajit Jewish café near the Adat Jeshurun synagogue and also on the Great Synagogue of Stockholm, according to JTA.
Jewish buildings in Helsingborg, Sweden, where a Jewish woman was stabbed and severely injured earlier this year, and Norrkoping also received the stickers on Saturday, the 81st anniversary of the pogroms in Germany and Austria, which marked the beginning of wide-scale violence by Nazis against Jews.
Authorities in Sweden and Denmark are treating the stickers as anti-Semitic hate speech, according to JTA.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder responded forcefully to the string of attacks.
“It is no longer possible for anybody, Jew or non-Jew alike, to be shocked by the callous reminders unleashed against our communities in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe this past Shabbat that antisemitism is alive and well, and right at our doorsteps. The writing has been on the wall for years, and today, 81 years nearly to the date of Kristallnacht, it continues to blaze strongly. The time has come for deliberate and targeted action,” Lauder said in a statement. “Europe must wake up and protect its Jewish citizens.”
“We are encouraged by the renewed show of force among our friends in the European Union in pledging to combat the epidemic of anti-Semitism that has washed this continent, but words of commitment are not enough. Governments must speak out, and show actions not words,” he continued.
“We must stand united against these threats, and that means increasing the resources. Our Jewish institutions, including synagogues and centers, must have police protection. Perpetrators of antisemitic attacks must be prosecuted and penalized to the fullest extent of the law, including those carrying out their crimes online. The digital sphere demands increased vigilance, without delay. Neo-Nazi ideology – such as the kind that incites hateful people to vandalize Jewish homes with yellow stars – must be outlawed. Until these steps are taken, we cannot truly say that we are fighting the scourge of anti-Semitism,” Lauder said.
Government statistics released last week found that the number of anti-Semitic hate crimes recorded in Sweden rose to a record high last year, jumping 53 percent over the 2016 figures.
The city of Malmo has seen several anti-Semitic attacks in recent years, including against the local synagogue.
In 2015, a large anti-Israel demonstration in the city featured calls to "slaughter the Jews" and chants praising the stabbing of innocent Israelis.