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European Jewish sites, including Halle memorial, vandalized in spate of attacks

Graffiti sprayed on Bulgarian, Spanish synagogues; memorial to Halle shooting smashed, set alight; German, Belarusian cemeteries damaged

Graffiti calling for the murder of Jews at the entrance to the Jewish cemetery of Hoyo de Manzanares, Spain, on December 24, 2020. (José de Isasa via JTA)
Graffiti calling for the murder of Jews at the entrance to the Jewish cemetery of Hoyo de Manzanares, Spain, on December 24, 2020. (José de Isasa via JTA)

JTA — Vandals struck a synagogue gate in Bulgaria and a monument to the victims of the shooting attack last year near a synagogue in Halle, Germany, in a spate of unrelated incidents this week in Europe.

In Bulgaria, the words “Free Palestine Israel=Nazis Antifa Bulgaria” were spray-painted Wednesday on the gate to the synagogue of Plovdiv, a city situated about 100 miles southeast of the capital Sofia, the Jewish organization Shalom wrote on Facebook.

Separately, graffiti reading “good Jew dead Jew’ and “murdering Jews we will hang you” were written on the gate of a Jewish cemetery near Madrid, Spain.

The graffiti, featuring spelling mistakes in Spanish and some German-language words, was spray-painted in Hoyo de Manzanares, a northern suburb of the capital, on Wednesday night, the news site 20minutos reported. The perpetrators also painted a Star of David with the word Raus, German for “out,” on the gate. Another slogan featured a mashup of the Spanish-language word for Holocaust and fairytale.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, FCJA, called the incident “intolerable” and said the culprits must be brought to justice.

In Halle, a Plexiglas panel on the monument of the shooting was smashed. The vandals also tried to set fire to a flag of Israel under the Plexiglas, the Jewish Community of Halle wrote Tuesday on Facebook.

Diese Gedenktafel für die Opfer des antisemitischen Anschlags am 09.10.2019 wurde beschädigt. Dabei wurde der Versuch…

Posted by Bündnis gegen Antisemitismus Halle on Monday, December 21, 2020

A 28-year-old far-right extremist killed two people near the Halle synagogue in October 2019. He targeted a kebab shop and a passerby after failing to break through the synagogue’s armored door on Yom Kippur, when the synagogue was full of worshipers.

Police have no suspects in the vandalism cases.

In a fourth incident, a structure inside the Jewish cemetery of the town of Krumbach, in southern Germany, was damaged. Police are treating the vandalism as an anti-Semitic case because earlier this year, a nearby picnic table was dismantled and the wooden polls comprising it rearranged on the floor in the shape of a swastika, the website AllgaeuRechtsaussen reported Monday.

Also Monday, metal thieves removed dozens of fences and railings from around tombstones at the Jewish cemetery of Babruysk in Belarus, the news site Bobruisk.ru reported.

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