Jewish Cemetery Near Paris Vandalized, Headstones Damaged

A young woman of African descent who used to wander around the grounds is suspected of being connected to the vandalism, though there's no comment whether it was part of a hate crime

File photo: A French police car on patrol.
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP

A Jewish cemetery near Paris was desecrated by a person who vandalized eight headstones, a watchdog on anti-Semitism said.

The incident earlier this week resulted in light damage to the headstones at the cemetery in Seine Saint Denis, north of the French capital, according to a statement issued Wednesday by Sammy Ghozlan, president of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA.

A young woman of African descent who often used to wander around the cemetery grounds is suspected of being connected to the vandalism, Ghozlan added. The statement did not detail the damage or say whether the woman or girl in question is suspected of targeting the cemetery for anti-Semitic motives.

But, Ghozlan added, “the cowardly hatred that is proliferating today is driving those who hate Jews to attack not only the living, but also the dead.”

BNVCA has lodged a criminal complaint with police over the incident, Ghozlan added.

Last year, individuals whose identity has remained unknown destroyed 40 of the 50 headstones at an 18th-century Jewish cemetery in eastern France.

On that occasion, a passer-by noticed the vandalism at the disused cemetery in the village of Waldwisse and referred it to authorities.