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Broken tombstone in Zvolen cemetery Photo: Eyal Bloch
Broken tombstone in Zvolen cemetery Photo: Eyal Bloch
 
 

Jewish tombstones desecrated in Slovakia

Out of hundreds of tombstones in Zvolen's Jewish cemetery, repeated desecrations left only 50. 'Whoever did this never met a Jew in his life,' says son of former resident

Yael Branovsky
Published: 04.06.10, 00:00 / Israel News

Despite the fact that no Jews have resided in the Slovakian town of Zvolen since the days of the Holocaust, it appears anti-Semitism hasn't left the region. A Jewish cemetery in the area was recently desecrated when unknown individuals broke into its gates and spray-painted hate slogans on the site's walls and tombstones.

 

Eyal Bloch, whose father grew up in Zvolen and escaped the town when World War II broke out, saw pictures of the desecration. He told Ynet that the town's cemetery contains the graves of the majority of the local Jewish community, which originally consisted of 700 members who died during the Holocaust.

 

Only 10 survivors originally from Zvolen currently live in Israel, in addition to Bloch's father, who fought as a partisan in its nearby forests.

 

Bloch noted that over the years the townsmen stole dozens of tombstones from the cemetery, which makes it harder for Jews arriving in the region to trace the burial spots of their relatives. "My father warned me over the years not to deal with what's going on in the cemetery since the population there is very anti-Semitic. When I showed him the photos he was horrified. "


Broken tombstones and graffiti in Zvolen cemetery (Photo: Eyal Bloch)

 

Over the years family members of Jews who originated in Zvolen tried to commemorate their loved ones whose tombs have been removed by installing a plaque with their names on the cemetery's wall.

 

"Whoever did this never met a Jew in his life and it really hurts," Bloch said.

 

'Local authorities to blame'

He also noted that he installed locks on the gate two years ago, which have now been ripped out.

 

The cemetery was declared a heritage site by the Zvolen Municipality, according to Bloch.

 

Bloch blamed Slovakian authorities for failure to punish the perpetrators. "I turned to the embassy in Israel as well as the Israeli embassy there and filed a complaint with local police. I highly doubt they'll do anything." 

 

He further noted that in the past there were 500 tombstones in the cemetery and now only 50 remain due to repeated desecrations. He is scheduled to visit Zvolen on Wednesday in order to find ways of solving the matter with local authorities.

 

Initial information was received via Red Mail

 

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