Jewish cemetery in Poland vandalized for second time in a month

At least 30 headstones pushed over, shattered, in Mysłowice, some of them only recently repaired after previous attack

Headstones toppled and smashed at the Jewish cemetery in Mysłowice, Poland, in August 2018. ( screen capture)
Headstones toppled and smashed at the Jewish cemetery in Mysłowice, Poland, in August 2018. ( screen capture)

A Jewish cemetery near Krakow was vandalized for the second time in less than a month, resulting in damage to dozens of headstones.

At least 30 headstones were pushed over, some of them shattered, in the latest incident recorded at the cemetery in Mysłowice, a town located about 40 miles west of Krakow, the news site reported Tuesday on its Facebook page.

Some of the headstones toppled this week had been repaired following an earlier incident in which 20 headstones were shattered late last month, the report said. Police are investigating both incidents but have no suspects in custody.

In 2012, the Council of Europe 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 anti-Semitic 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.”

Separately, a swastika was etched on the wall of the Jewish cemetery of Malmo in Sweden last month. Olle Schmidt, a local politician representing the Liberal People’s Party, cited the incident in an op-ed published Wednesday by the Expressen daily in which he called for a reform in education about anti-Semitism in that city.

In the op-ed, Schmidt praised initiatives to teach about the Holocaust in the schools in Malmo, which sees dozens of anti-Semitic incidents annually although it is home to only 800 Jews. But, he added, “instead of focusing exclusively on European history, we need to expand, to include the Middle East countries, where anti-Semitism is widespread.”

Malmo has about 350,000 residents, of whom about one-third are from Muslim-majority countries.

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