MUNICH (Feb. 28)
Unidentified vandals uprooted and damaged about 40 tombstones in the 150-year-old Jewish Cemetery in Munich during the weekend and police said that the desecrations were committed by drunken revelers at the height of the current Fasching (carnival) season.
However, Dr. Hendrik Van Dam, general secretary of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, charged today that the vandalism had obviously been done with “calculated malice.” He added that the crime was “not to be wondered at” in view of the anti-Semitic headlines constantly on display in the right-wing newspapers widely displayed on West German newstands.
A special Munich police commission began a search for the vandals, who were believed to be 18 to 20 years old. A reward of 3,000 marks ($750) has been offered for their apprehension. Munich Mayor Hans Jochem Vogel visited the cemetery yesterday and expressed his condolences to Munich’s Jewish community. The city government debated whether to publicize the desecration and finally allowed photographers and newsmen to enter the vandalized cemetery yesterday.