Paris hit with wave of anti-Semitic vandalism
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Paris hit with wave of anti-Semitic vandalism

Officials express outrage after swastikas found daubed over portraits of Simone Veil, anti-Jewish graffiti found around city

Anti-Semitic graffiti written on letter boxes displaying a portrait of late French politician and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, February 11, 2019. (Jacques Demarthon/AFP)
Anti-Semitic graffiti written on letter boxes displaying a portrait of late French politician and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, February 11, 2019. (Jacques Demarthon/AFP)

French police are investigating after swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti were found in several locations in Paris, authorities said Monday.

Portraits of Holocaust survivor and French politician Simone Veil were tagged with swastikas and graffiti reading “Macron Jews’ bitch” and “Jewish Sow,” were found in different locations.

Frédéric Potier, a government official in charge of fighting hate crimes, said on Twitter that he had alerted police and the prosecutor’s office in the French capital.

“Anti-Semitic tags in the heart of Paris this weekend, to the point of nausea. When the hatred of Jews overlaps with the hatred of democracy, the vocabulary of the #fascosphere [the sphere of the fascists] is found on the walls!” he wrote.

Potier also retweeted a photo of a wall in the 18th arrondissement, in the north of the city, not far from Montmartre, with “Jewish sow” written on it.

The mayor of the district said on Twitter he had reported the vandalism on Monday morning to the authorities.

Portraits of Veil, who died in 2017, on the front wall of a local government building in the 13th arrondissement, were also covered with swastikas. The portraits were made on the occasion of Veil’s entrance to the Pantheon last July.

Veil, a leading French politician and rights icon who was deported as a teenager to the Auschwitz concentration camp, was considered one of France’s most popular and trusted public figures before her death. She is one of only five women buried in the Pantheon, which houses the remains of many great French figures, including Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola.

The mayor of the arrondissment, Jerome Coumet, denounced the graffiti as “foul, abject and especially cowardly.”

“Dirtying Simone Veil means dirtying all of us and each of us must react to the foul beast,” he said.

The anti-Semitic graffiti found on the Bagelstein restaurant in Paris on February 9. 2019,. (screen capture: YouTube)

On Sunday, the Bagelstein bagel shop in the 4th arrondissement filed a complaint after the word “Juden” (German for Jew) was sprayed on its front window in yellow spray-paint, recalling the identifying stars Jews were forced to wear during the Nazi occupation.

Gilles Abecassis, a co-founder of the Bagelstein chain, said similar graffiti had been made on other windows fronts.

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