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Ravensbruck Hit by Arsonists, Cemetery Desecrated in Germany

The site of the Ravensbruck concentration camp was slightly damaged by arson and a Jewish cemetery was desecrated in the latest incidents of anti-Semitic vandalism reported in Germany.

Vandals targeted the crematorium of the former women’s camp. Ravensbruck is located in the state of Brandenberg, in eastern Germany, near Berlin, an area where assailants last month burnt down a barracks at the Sachsenhausen death camp that contained a Jewish museum.

A controversy over the Ravensbruck site was settled several months ago in an agreement to retain the concentration camp memorial during commercial development of the area by local authorities.

News reports said vandals also smashed 50 gravestones and painted swastikas at a memorial for victims on Nazi death camps at Uberlingen, in southern Germany.

Also in Brandenberg, police say they found large quantities of anti-Semitic propaganda as well as weapons in a crackdown on two neo-Nazi paramilitary groups last week.

Police found 150 Soviet-issue hand grenades, bombs and firebombs.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said the issue of asylum for foreigners in Germany could lead to “a national emergency.”

Asylum-seekers have been a target of a wave of assaults by right-wing and neo- Nazi gangs.

In a press interview, Kohl said the country’s failure to contain the influx of refugees created a situation that was unacceptable to the public at large.

He blamed the opposition Social Democratic Party for blocking constitutional changes that would curb the number of asylum-seekers coming into the country.

The leader of the Social Democrats, Bjorn Engolm, supports the changes but has not yet won his party’s backing for them.

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