Swastikas Carved Into Jewish Headstones, Spray-painted on Memorials in Germany

The incident is the third reported act of antisemitic vandalism in Germany this week and is being treated as an antisemitic hate crime by police

Cnaan Liphshiz
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A swastika carved into a headstone at the Jewish cemetery of Haren, Germany in November 2020.
A swastika carved into a headstone at the Jewish cemetery of Haren, Germany in November 2020.Credit: Polizeiinspektion Emsland / Grafschaft Bentheim
Cnaan Liphshiz

Amid a recent spate of incidents against Jewish targets in Germany, swastikas were etched into headstones at a cemetery.

The vandalism discovered this week in Haren, a northwestern town about 220 miles west of Berlin, is being treated as an antisemitic hate crime by police, the dpa news agency reported Tuesday. There are no suspects in custody.

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Separately on Monday, unidentified individuals in Chemnitz, 120 miles south of Berlin, spray-painted a swastika in purple on memorial Stolperstein, or “stumbling stones” – brass street tiles that were placed at the former homes of Holocaust victims to commemorate them.

“We have had similar incidents when stumbling blocks were damaged or even cemented over,” a local politician, Katharina Weyandt, told the Tag24 news site.

On Sunday, red paint was poured over other memorial cobblestones in Eilenburg, a city located 40 miles north of Chemnitz, Tag24 reported.

In Ukraine, an incident involving Nazi symbols and Jewish sites was recorded in Uzhhorod, in the southwest. Swastikas were etched into the walls of a former synagogue building and a Celtic cross was spray-painted on it.

Though the building no longer serves as a Jewish house of worship, its characteristic arched windows and doorframes may have attracted the unidentified perpetrators, the United Jewish Community of Ukraine wrote on its website.

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