Antisemitic graffiti spray-painted in Rome’s Jewish Quarter on Kristallnacht

City says it is removing graffiti, which included a Star of David, equal sign and swastika: ‘Events like this cause dismay, enormous concern’

Illustrative: The Rome skyline. (Wikipedia/Bert Kaufmann/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Illustrative: The Rome skyline. (Wikipedia/Bert Kaufmann/CC BY-SA 2.0)

MILAN — Rome removed antisemitic graffiti that was scrawled on buildings in the city’s old Jewish Quarter on Thursday, which marked the 85th anniversary of Kristallnacht — or the “Night of Broken Glass” — in which the Nazis terrorized Jews throughout Germany and Austria in 1938.

The graffiti, which included a Star of David, the equal sign and a Nazi swastika, was being removed, the city said in a statement.

“Events like this cause dismay, enormous concern and (bring) to mind the period of racial persecution,” said Alessandro Luzon, Rome’s liaison with the Jewish Community.

On November 9, 1938, the Nazis killed at least 91 people, vandalized 7,500 Jewish businesses and burned more than 1,400 synagogues. The pogrom became known as the Kristallnacht and marked a turning point in the escalating persecution of Jews that eventually led to the murder of 6 million European Jews by the Nazis and their supporters during the Holocaust.

In the northern city of Treviso, a private English-language middle and high school on Thursday suspended a teacher who made antisemitic statements on her private social media account. The H-Farm School said the “hateful language … is the absolute antithesis of the values in which our school believes.”

Antisemitic incidents have been on the rise in Europe in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war, sparked by the deadly October 7 Hamas onslaught in southern Israel that saw Palestinian terrorists slaughter some 1,400 people and take over 240 as hostages. Israel has responded with a relentless bombing campaign and a ground offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip that has killed thousands of Palestinians, as part of an operation that Israeli leaders say is aimed at toppling the Gaza-ruling terror group.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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