Jewish graves in Manchester, England were defiled recently according to a BBC report in which local authorities called the anti-Semitic graffiti and toppled gravestones an "atrocity".
"I cannot begin to get into the mind of someone who would commit such an atrocity," said Inspector Mike Reid to the BBC as investigations began to find the perpetrators.
Bernard Freeman, 88, also spoke to the BBC recounting his experience discovering the vandalism. "I come here to say a prayer to my mother and my father and tell them in my own way about the children, the grandchildren and great grandchildren - to come here and find this, it's diabolical, it really is."
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Some 40 headstones were reported by the BBC to have been knocked over while racial slurs were graffitied across several graves.
"The vandalism of a gravestone is, in itself, a sickening act but to violate the memory of those resting in the cemetery still further by daubing racial slurs on the graves is truly repulsive," Reid told the BBC.
The vandalism comes at a time when such racially motivated crimes were significantly decreasing in the Manchester area said the report.
The English metropolis apparently recorded the most anti-Semitic attacks in the UK in 2011, but numbers had since dropped significantly according to the BBC report.
"A lot of good work has been done by Greater Manchester Police and the Crown Prosecution Service," a spokeswoman for a local Jewish charity told the BBC. "We hope this is an isolated incident."