BONN (Aug. 31)
Three youths who overturned some 15 tombstones at a Jewish cemetery in the Thuringian town of Muhlhausen last week were released after local police determined that alcohol, not neo-Nazi ideology, had motivated them.
Police who arrested the three teen-agers last Friday for the vandalism said the young vandals had been released because they had “had no political motives” and were “not neo-Nazis.”
A police official said that the youths, ages 14, 15 and 16, had been doing some drinking and were trying to show off to their friends.
Two of the vandals reportedly live in a home for troubled youths. A third lives with his parents.
The police left it up to a local prosecutor to decide whether to charge the youths for the crime.
Countries worldwide — including France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and Canada — have seen a string of Jewish cemetery desecrations in the past couple of years. In several instances, police have arrested youths, some as young as 10 years old, for the crimes.