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Headstones smashed at Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine and Romania

Groups report separate incidents in Radvanka and Ploesti, with no suspects identified in either case

The aftermath of vandalism at the Jewish cemetery of Ploesti, Romania, June 2021. (MCA Romania via JTA)
The aftermath of vandalism at the Jewish cemetery of Ploesti, Romania, June 2021. (MCA Romania via JTA)

JTA — Jewish cemeteries have been vandalized in two separate incidents over the past week in Romania and Ukraine.

The Center for Monitoring and Combating Antisemitism in Romania-MCA reported Sunday about the incident in the town of Ploesti, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Bucharest.

Multiple headstones, some from as recently as 2009, were knocked over. Several were smashed.

On Thursday, at least 10 of the 60 headstones were vandalized in the Jewish cemetery of Radvanka, a western Ukraine village on the outskirts of Uzhgorod, according to the United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of several communal interests group.

The group also said that on Friday, in an unfenced hillside graveyard with overgrown grass, several of the headstones were smashed.

In both incidents, police were informed of the damage. There are no suspects in either case.

In 2012, the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental body that is not part of the European Union, adopted a nonbinding resolution placing responsibility for the care of Jewish cemeteries on national governments. The resolution was based in part on a report that said Jewish cemeteries are “probably” more vulnerable than other cemeteries.

In addition to frequent vandalism, including for antisemitic reasons, at Jewish cemeteries, the report also noted instances of cemeteries in Eastern Europe that have been turned into “residential areas, public gardens, leisure parks, army grounds and storage sites; some have been turned into lakes.”

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