Vandals Desecrate Jewish Cemeteries in German Kristallnacht Backlash

In the week following the 50th anniversary commemoration of Kristallnacht, an apparent backlash has resulted in an upsurge of anti-Semitic vandalism in West Germany.

The Jewish cemetery of Bad Buchau in Schwaben was desecrated and anti-Semitic graffiti appeared in Wiesbaden, capital of the federal state of Hesse. Similar incidents were reported throughout the country.

Anti-Jewish feeling was also heightened by the forced resignation last week of Bundestag President Philipp Jenninger.

Addressing a special session of Parliament on Nov. 10 dedicated to the memory of Kristallnacht, Jenninger delivered a speech widely interpreted as a justification of the Nazi regime.

Police in Bad Buchau said 17 gravestones were overturned and others were uprooted.

Swastikas and Nazi slogans were smeared on the stones, in a Jewish cemetery that dates back to the 16th century.

The town, in southern Germany, was the home of Albert Einstein’s parents. A tablet on a house in Hofgarten Street reminds visitors that the eminent physicist was forced to flee his native Germany to avoid persecution.

In Wiesbaden, swastikas and Nazi slogans were smeared on a Jewish memorial near the former synagogue. The vandals evaded police who had been assigned to protect the site.