Jewish cemetery in Kosovo capital desecrated - Israel News, Ynetnews
 
ynetnews
web


   Israel News

Israel News
World News
Israel Opinion
Jewish
Israel Business
Israel Culture
Israel Travel
Anti-Semitism

Entrance to cemetery Photo: AP
Entrance to cemetery Photo: AP
 
 

Jewish cemetery in Kosovo capital desecrated

'Jews out' spray-painted on memorial for Jewish families who perished during World War II. President: Act in complete contradiction with values of our people

Associated Press
Published: 12.01.11, 22:04 / Israel News

Police in Kosovo are investigating who sprayed swastikas on dozens of tombstones in a Jewish cemetery recently restored by American and Kosovan students, a spokesman said Thursday.

 

Brahim Sadrija said police had sealed off the cemetery in the capital, Kosovo, and are looking for clues. The vandalism is believed to have happened Tuesday.

 


צלבי הקרס בבית העלמין בקוסובו (צילום: AFP)

Desecrated tombstones (Photo: AFP)

 

Sadrija said he could not disclose more details pending the ongoing investigation.

 

Related articles:

 

In June, a group of students from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and their peers from the American University in Kosovo restored the neglected cemetery by clearing debris from around the graves and cutting overgrown grass.

 

Rabbi Edward S. Boraz of the college's Roth Center for Jewish Life held a dedication ceremony at the memorial site, with students taking turns to read out the names of Jewish families from the region who perished during World War II.

 

On Thursday the hate graffiti "Jud Raus" - a misspelling of the German "Juden Raus," which means "Jews out" - could still be seen at the foot of a memorial.

 

President Atifete Jahjaga and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci condemned the act.

 

"The damaging of cemeteries presents an act in complete contradiction with the traditions and values of the people of Kosovo, based on tolerance and full respect for all the dead and all the monuments," Jahjaga said in a statement.

 

Thaci described the desecration as "a cowardly act."

 

The condemnations follow that of US Ambassador to Kosovo, Christopher Dell, who urged authorities to find out who committed the vandalism.

 

"The hateful act was an offense not only against the families of persons buried there and of the Jewish community in Kosovo and beyond, but also an offense against Kosovo's multiethnic state and society," Dell said in a statement.

 

"The act is one of contempt for the most basic norms of tolerance, coexistence, and respect, and cannot be tolerated."

 

Some 300 Kosovo Jews died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany during World War II. After the war, Kosovo's small Jewish community dwindled. The few that remained left for Israel and Serbia during and after the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

 

In a statement sent to The Associated Press an American Jewish group branded the desecration of the cemetery as "a heinous act."

 

"Holocaust survivors are shocked to learn that a sacred resting place of our martyrs has been profaned by vandals using graphic symbols of Nazi hate," Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants said.

 

Kosovo, a former Serbian province, seceded from Serbia in 2008 but Belgrade has vowed never to accept the independence of the majority ethnic Albanian territory.

 

Kosovo is overwhelmingly Muslim, but has a Roman Catholic minority.

 

 

commentcomment   PrintPrint  Send to friendSend to friend   
Tag with Del.icio.us Bookmark to del.icio.us



 
13 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks
Please wait for the talkbacks to load

 

RSS RSS | About | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Advertise with us | Site Map

Site developed by  YIT Advanced Technology Solutions