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Vandals deface Holocaust memorial in northern Spain

Monolith in Oviedo punctured and scraped with sharp object; local Jewish community chief says he will report incident to police and international groups fighting antisemitism

Vandals used a sharp object to attack a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in Oviedo, Spain, November 12, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain via JTA)
Vandals used a sharp object to attack a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust in Oviedo, Spain, November 12, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain via JTA)

MADRID, Spain (JTA) — Vandals have defaced a Holocaust memorial in Oviedo, Spain, puncturing and scraping the stone and steel monolith with a sharp object.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain strongly condemned the attack, discovered November 12, in a statement Monday.

“We urge the Spanish authorities to condemn such acts, to restore the damaged elements immediately, and to implement educational measures to teach tolerance, mutual understanding, and the right to be considered different,” read the statement.

“As the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights warned last week, antisemitism has increased in the 27 EU member countries and calls for a redoubling of efforts to combat hatred and prejudice against Jews,” the statement added.

The Yad Vashem Association in Spain also expressed its outrage and condemned the attack.

Aída Oceransky, president of the Jewish Community in Asturias, the mountainous northern region of Spain that includes Oviedo, called it an antisemitic attack and plans to report the incident to the police and national and international organizations involved in the fight to eradicate antisemitism, the Nueva España daily reported Sunday.

In 2017, the Spanish city inaugurated the Holocaust memorial to honor the victims of the Holocaust. The monolith replaced another erected at Parque de Invierno, one of the town’s most well-known parks, which had been the target of similar attacks by radical right-wing groups.

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