German Foreign Minister Apologizes for Desecration of Jewish Cemetery

German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel has apologized to Israel’s ambassador here for the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in the southern city of Karlsruhe, as acts of vandalism were reported at other Jewish burial sites in Germany.

Kinkel, a native of Karlsruhe, said in a letter Friday to Ambassador Benjamin Navon that the attack caused him shame as a resident of the town and as a German official.

A geriatric nurse, 24, and a 21-year-old unemployed man were arrested Friday and confessed to daubing 15 gravestones with Nazi slogans and overturning two more gravestones on the eve of Yom Kippur, Karlsruhe police said.

Kinkel said most people in Karlsruhe and in Germany as a whole deplored such acts of barbarism.

In Dortmund, vandals overturned 10 tombstones and daubed 20 others with “Sieg Heil,” the Nazi salute, and other slogans.

Stuttgart’s Jewish cemetery suffered vandalism to seven tombstones, which were smeared with Nazi slogans.

In Nordhausen, in the federal state of Thuringia, vandals smeared slogans on a plaque commemorating Jewish victims of the Holocaust at the site of the town’s former synagogue, where Jews were rounded up for deportation.

Officials in Nordhausen complained they lacked funds for urgent maintenance work at the site of the Dora concentration camp, where some 20,000 slave laborers, many of them Jews, perished while working on V-2 missiles in a nearby underground site.

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