France: Dozens of Jewish graves vandalized in anti-Semitic attack | News | DW | 03.12.2019
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France: Dozens of Jewish graves vandalized in anti-Semitic attack

Vandals have defaced more than 100 graves with swastikas in a Jewish cemetery in eastern France. The interior minister condemned the "heinous acts" — the latest in a string of anti-Semitic incidents in the Alsace region.

Authorities in eastern France said Tuesday they had discovered 107 tombs spray-painted with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans in a Jewish graveyard near the German border.

The vandalism in the town of Westhoffen, west of the city of Strasbourg, was discovered hours after a similar attack on another Jewish cemetery in the nearby village of Schaffhouse-sur-Zorn.

French Interior Minister Cristophe Castaner condemned the "heinous acts" on Twitter, adding that everything was being done to ensure the vandals are brought to justice.

Police are investigating, while local authorities said they were working to make sure such attacks don't happen again.

The vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee, Christoph Heubner, said the incident "outrages and upsets Holocaust survivors around the world." 

The Alsace region has witnessed a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents in recent months that have triggered a national debate about intolerance in France, home to Europe's largest Jewish community.

In February, more than 90 graves were daubed with swastikas at the Quatzenheim Jewish cemetery northwest of Strasbourg.

According to police figures, the number of anti-Jewish offenses reported to authorities increased 74% in 2018 compared with the previous year.

Watch video 02:02

Massive protests against anti-Semitic attacks in France

nm/aw (AFP, AP, dpa)

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