JTA — Anti-Semitic graffiti was painted on the Jewish Agency for Israel’s building in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The graffiti, including swastikas, was painted on the building and a neighboring building last weekend, and was acknowledged by the Jewish Agency in a statement released Thursday. The words “All of you – to Buchenwald” appeared in large letters on the side of a facing building in the city center.
Several Jewish organizations are in the same neighborhood as the Jewish Agency building, which has no sign indicating its presence.
One of the swastikas was painted next to a sign for the Jewish University, a Jewish organization housed in the building.
Some 100,000 Jews live in St. Petersburg and Jewish community life is vibrant there, according to the Jewish Agency.
Amon Hermon, the head of The Jewish Agency Task Force on Anti-Semitism, said in recent days that his agency has seen a surge in anti-Semitic incidents, primarily in Western Europe.
“The incidents generally involve hateful graffiti targeting Jews,” he said, “but some have also included violence.”
Meanwhile, in Poland, four large swastikas and SS symbols were painted on the entrance to a synagogue in Lodz. The swastikas, which were discovered on Tuesday at the Reicher Synagogue, were removed the following day. Police are investigating the vandalism.
Tourists first noticed the vandalism at the synagogue, one of two that are still in use in the city.
“This graffiti is a terrible showcase of our city,” Symcha Keller, chairman of the Jewish Community of Lodz, told JTA.
In 1998, swastikas and Stars of David on gallows were painted on the Reicher Synagogue.