NEW YORK (Jul. 19)
In an anti-Semitic attack unusual for Finland, vandals have overturned and smashed gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in the western town of Turku, the World Jewish Congress reported this week.
About 125 headstones were toppled and some broken, according to a report from the Finnish news agency.
Only the left side of the cemetery was hit, said a Jewish source from Turku who asked not to be identified.
“It was preplanned; they had all the equipment they needed,” he said.
Finnish authorities said they had no leads to identify those responsible for the attack on the cemetery.
But the source from Turku said there has been a small group of neo-Nazis active in Finland since the 1970s.
So although there is “no evidence, there are ideas” who did it.
The source added that there has been recent telephone harassment of Jews, and recalled threatening letters received by Jews in Turku in the 1970s.
Those letters, described as “very childishly written,” were turned over to the security police.
One letter read, “The slaughter of the Jewish pigs begins all around Finland, and you will not be helped, not by God and not even by your friend, the CIA,” the Turku source recalled.
About 1,200 Jews live in Finland, with some 165 in Turku, out of a total population in that city of more than 160,000.
The population of Finland is under 5 million.
Several windows in a Turku synagogue were smashed last October, and another Finnish Jewish leader said the two attacks could be related.
The perpetrators of that attack were reportedly caught.