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Police Guarding Major Jewish Organizations in France After a Series of Bombings, Bomb Threats

Police are guarding major Jewish installations in Marseilles where a time bomb was found yesterday on the synagogue grounds. The bomb, consisting of three sticks of dynamite, a detonator and an alarm clock, was defused by police. Officials are worried, however, that the attempted bombing could be the beginning of a wave of anti-Jewish violence.

During the last few weeks, vandals desecrated the Nice synagogue, exploded a small bomb in front of the Paris office of B’nai B’rith and threatened to blow up two Marseilles hotels unless the Israeli Consul in that city cancelled a reception due to be held in one of them next Friday.

A man claiming to speak for “The Peiper Group” telephoned the Marseilles office of the French news agency, Agence France Presse, claiming responsibility for some of the attacks, but police officials are not convinced that such an organization exists. Former S.S. Col. Joachim Peiper, a convicted war criminal, was murdered near Paris last week by unknown assailants. Official circles believe the attacks were carried out by violence-prone individual vandals, more difficult to trace down and apprehend than members of an organized gang.

The Marseilles Chief Rabbi has called on the authorities to use all the means at their disposal to track down and arrest those responsible for the assaults.