Ukraine Jewish headstones, Hungary Holocaust monument smashed

Cemetery in Uzhgorod and memorial in Nyiregyhaza vandalized in separate incidents

Headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Ukraine and a Holocaust memorial monument in Hungary were destroyed in suspected anti-Semitic vandalism.

Ukrainian Police received a report of the vandalism at the Jewish cemetery of Uzhgorod in the country’s west earlier this week, the news site reported.

Unidentified individuals smashed 19 headstones at the cemetery sometime between July 28 and August 1, according to police, who urged anyone with information on the incident to assist with their investigation.

Separately, vandals in the northeastern Hungarian city of Nyiregyhaza are believed to have dislodged and smashed a large stone slab that served as a memorial for the local Jewish population that was murdered in the Holocaust, the news site reported on Tuesday.

The monument, located at a central park on Dob Street, was placed there in 2004. The stone slab could have collapsed under its own weight, the news site reported, but the local police department said in a statement that there is cause to suspect vandalism.

Nyiregyhaza had a Jewish population of 5,000 in 1944, when local fascists and Nazis began deporting the country’s Jews to the Auschwitz extermination camp. Deportations began in May and ran through the beginning of June. Survivors are estimated at 600 to 800, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

In 2012, the Council of Europe adopted a non-binding 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 because of the small size of the communities.

In addition to dozens of cemeteries vandalized in recent years, 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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