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West German Vandals Smear Swastikas on Memorials, One Aimed at Berlin Jewish Leader

Unknown vandals smeared swastikas on two memorials to the anti Nazi resistance movement early Sunday as West Germany marked the 25th anniversary of the thwarted assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler.

In West Berlin the vandals painted 15 large Nazi emblems in reddish brown paint on the walls, door, and floor of the former Ploetzensee Prison site. In Wuppertal red paint was splashed on a monument to the victims of the Nazis.

Many resistance fighters were executed in Ploetzensee during the war. Some were strangled, others shot, and yet others hung up on meat hooks. In 1952 a memorial was built on the site. On the wall of the former execution room, the vandals painted the words: “Away with the Galinskis.” Heinz Galinski is the leader of the West Berlin Jewish community.

On the walls around the memorial courtyard the intruders painted in white letters stretching some 40 yards the words: “And I passed on the order to burn out, down to the raw flesh, the cancers of our internal poisonous political propaganda and the venom from abroad.” President Gustav Heinemann deplored the vandalism, declaring, “This attack affects all of us. It warns us.”