Swastikas daubed over cemetery in Alsace

7th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

STRASBOURG, June 7 (AFP) - Vandals daubed black swastikas and SS symbols on 14 graves at a Christian cemetery in eastern France, the second such incident at the graveyard in a month, police said Monday.

STRASBOURG, June 7 (AFP) - Vandals daubed black swastikas and SS symbols on 14 graves at a Christian cemetery in eastern France, the second such incident at the graveyard in a month, police said Monday.

The pro-Nazi markings were discovered early Monday at the cemetery in the Alsatian village of Niederhaslach. Similar graffiti was found on some 20 graves at the cemetery in early May.

The incident in May came on the heels of the desecration of 127 graves at a Jewish cemetery in the same region, not far from the border with Germany.

Vandals scrawled swastikas and sayings glorifying Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler on the Jewish graves in Herrlisheim. On a stone inscribed with a prayer in Hebrew, vandals wrote "Juden raus", which means "Jews out" in German.

The vandalism at the Jewish cemetery provoked indignation across France and highlighted the country's continuing struggle to stamp out anti-Semitic acts.

Sixty-seven anti-Semitic incidents were reported in France during the first three months of 2004, compared with 42 in the previous quarter, according to figures released by the interior ministry.

Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin suggested Monday that French laws might need to be changed in order to address the rise in anti-Semitism.

"We must constantly question the means at our disposal," De Villepin told Europe 1 radio. "We need appropriate responses. When these responses are not satisfactory ... the law must simply be adapted, adding new punishments."

Last week a Jewish teenager was stabbed in the neck and seriously wounded outside his school in a Paris suburb, an apparent hate crime that sparked outrage.

© AFP

Subject: French news

 

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