Jewish graves vandalized, human remains scattered in Hungary
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Jewish graves vandalized, human remains scattered in Hungary

Community leader in northeastern city of Gyongyos says damage to gravestones 'unprecedented'

Gravestones lie turned over in the Jewish cemetery in Marcali, 177 kms southwest of Budapest, Hungary, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011 after 75 graves have been violated. (Photo credit: AP/MTI, Gyoergy Varga)
Gravestones lie turned over in the Jewish cemetery in Marcali, 177 kms southwest of Budapest, Hungary, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011 after 75 graves have been violated. (Photo credit: AP/MTI, Gyoergy Varga)

BUDAPEST, Hungary — The leader of a small Hungarian Jewish community says about 20 graves have been vandalized in a Jewish cemetery.

Peter Weisz says the damage to the graves in the northeastern city of Gyongyos, including the scattering of human remains, was “unprecedented.”

The office of Prime Minister Viktor Orban condemned the “barbaric deed” on Sunday and vowed to launch a program this year to renovate neglected cemeteries.

Weisz said a number of graves dating as far back as the late 1800s were of ancestors of some of the 80 current members of the recently re-established Jewish community in Gyongyos. Weisz said relations with other religious groups in the city of 30,000 people were “exemplary.”

Last year, more than 50 gravestones were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in northeast Hungary.

Gravestones in the cemetery in Szikszo were smashed or toppled, Jeno Freund, the president of the Autonomous Orthodox Israelite Community of Miskolc, told the Hungarian MTI news agency at the time.

It was unknown when the vandalism occurred since the cemetery remained closed since World War II.

In 2014, Hungary commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust, when 550,000 Hungarian Jews were killed.

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