September 20, 2023

Vandals damage 40 graves at Jewish cemetery in Germany

Vandals damage 40 graves at Jewish cemetery in Germany

Vandals have desecrated a Jewish cemetery in eastern Germany, damaging more than 40 graves, police said on Wednesday.

The bulk of the damage in the town of Koethen in Saxony-Anhalt was caused by gravestones being pushed over, police in Dessau-Rosslau said.

The vandalism at the ancient burial site is estimated to be worth around 20,000 euros, they said.

The crime is thought to have happened between September 15 and 19.

Seven decades after the Holocaust, in which the Nazi regime slaughtered six million Jews, anti-Semitism remains a burning issue in Germany.

Anti-Semitic incidents declined in 2022 compared to the previous year but there was a rise in anti-Semitic violence, according to the Federal Association of Research and Information Centres on Anti-Semitism (RIAS).

A total of 2,480 anti-Semitic incidents were documented in 2022, including nine cases of extreme violence — an all-time high since the survey began in 2017.

In October 2019, a gunman killed two people in the eastern city of Halle, having failed to storm a synagogue on Yom Kippur.

Before the attack, he had posted a racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic manifesto online.