Menu JTA Search

German Police: Neo-nazis Desecrated Jewish Graves

Police suspect that neo-Nazis were responsible for the desecration of graves at the Jewish cemetery in the northern German city of Gottingen.

A gardener at the Jewish cemetery, which is part of the city cemetery, discovered last Friday 11 overturned tombstones and damage to numerous other gravesites.

Earlier last week, officials at two Gottingen churches received anonymous phone calls that graves had been desecrated at the Jewish cemetery. However, no signs of vandalism were found until last Friday.

The desecration of the Jewish cemetery came only days after an arson attempt at the synagogue in the northern port city of Lubeck.

Michael Friedman, deputy chairman of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, demanded over the weekend that all synagogues in Germany be guarded by police.

“We need security without conditions,” he said.

Friedman also demanded that schools introduce into the curriculum classes on basic human values, which should be “as obvious as mathematics lessons.”

The arson attempt at the Lubeck synagogue took place May 7, just hours before state ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the Allied defeat of the Nazis.

No one was hurt, and the fire was extinguished before it spread.

Michael Wolf, head of the security service in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, where Lubeck is located, told the German newsmagazine Focus that his organization had prior intelligence that rightist radicals and skinheads were planning a “spectacular action” to coincide with the 50the anniversary commemorations.

But he said his agents had not known that the target of the attack would be a synagogue.

The Lubeck synagogue was to target of a previous arson attack in March 1994. That incident resulted in significant damage to the building, but no one was hurt.

Four men between the ages of 19 and 24, all of whom belonged to extreme right- wing groups, were convicted for premediated arson in the earlier incident. They were recently given sentences ranging from 30 months to 4### years in jail.

NEXT STORY