BAMBERG, W. Germany (Jun. 17)
Bamberg police took special steps today to insure the safety of the few remaining Jews of Bamberg after one of the most vicious outbreaks of anti-Semitic vandalism in postwar German history.
Some 4,000 Bamberg residents met in a heavy rainstorm yesterday to protest the dese cration of 32 tombstones in Bamberg’s Jewish cemetery Tuesday and the defacing Sunday of a monument to the synagogue the Nazis razed in 1938. Flags throughout Bamberg flew at half-mast during the meeting.
Lord Mayor Theodor Mathieu told the protest meeting that “we want to state that we feel deep pain and real sorrow” about the desecrations. The Mayor also said that he wanted the whole world to know that the citizens of Bamberg rejected “these crimes.” He declared that the German people know the conflict created between “Jews and Germars” during the Nazi holocaust and that such things should never happen again.
The Mayor called on the people of Bamberg not to be indifferent to the anti-Jewish acts and noted that Nazi terror could quickly materialize from small beginnings. He also appealed to the 100 Jews of Bamberg not to blame the non-Jewish citizens of the city for the outrages because they had “proved” they had the greatest interest to bring the guilty ones to trial.
Detectives from Munich joined local police in the search for the vandals, who painted violently anti-Semitic inscriptions and swastikas on the tombstones and similarly defaced the synagogue monument. Citizens raised a $3,250 reward for the arrest of the desecrators and the Frankischer Tag, the Bamberg newspaper, offered a reward of 3,000 marks ($750) for that purpose. The vandals, however, made anonymous telephone calls yesterday to clergymen and to the newspaper, with the message “Kill the Jews–we will continue to fight and to smear.”