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French Holocaust memorial vandalized on remembrance day

‘Uighurs 2021=Jews 1941’ and ‘Uighur lives matter’ scrawled on wall etched with the names of tens of thousands of French victims of the Holocaust

A view  of pale stone walls engraved with the names of 76,000 people deported from France to Nazi death camps during World War II, in the Jewish quarter of central Paris, January 20, 2005. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
A view of pale stone walls engraved with the names of 76,000 people deported from France to Nazi death camps during World War II, in the Jewish quarter of central Paris, January 20, 2005. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

Vandals painted graffiti on France’s Holocaust Memorial ahead of international commemorations of the Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews.

The Israeli Embassy in France tweeted a photo of the pro-Uighur graffiti scrawled on a wall etched with the names of tens of thousands of French victims of the Holocaust. “Uighurs 2021=Jews 1941,” part of the graffiti read.

The embassy expressed “horror and anger” at the vandalism “on such a symbolic day.”

Paris police said the graffiti was discovered Wednesday morning, as ceremonies were being held or planned around the world to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is observed on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp on Jan. 27, 1945.

The graffiti was quickly cleaned off.

While France sees persistent but scattered anti-Semitic vandalism or violence, the graffiti found Wednesday was not explicitly anti-Jewish. It included the message “Uighur Lives Matter” and appeared aimed at calling attention to China’s treatment of mostly Muslim Uighurs.

The Chinese government has detained an estimated 1 million or more members of ethnic Turkic minority groups in Xinjiang, holding them in internment camps and prisons where they are subjected to ideological discipline, forced to denounce their religion and language and physically abused. China has long suspected the Uighurs of harboring separatist tendencies.

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