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Uruguay Officials Probe Outbreak of Anti-semitism

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Security officials in Uruguay are investigating a surge of neo-Nazi activities in the capital of Montevideo.

In the most recent incident, flyers bearing a portrait of Adolf Hitler were put up on walls throughout the capital’s downtown area.

Earlier this year, a Jewish-owned store was destroyed by Molotov cocktails. When firemen arrived at the scene, they found a large swastika painted over the store’s entrance.

Last year, vandals burned down the Holocaust memorial in a park near the presidential residence in the capital.

Uruguayan authorities believe the portraits that recently appeared were part of plans to commemorate Hitler’s birthday on April 30.

Members of Tolerancia Si, an anti-racist organization, said Uruguay is facing a “systematic racist and anti-Jewish campaign.”

The group is campaigning to have the government dedicate a city square to the memory of the 86 people killed in the July 18,1994, bombing of the Jewish community center building in Buenos Aires.

Many of the flyers bearing Hitler’s portraits were pasted over Tolerancia Si’s posters calling for the memorial.

Saul Gilvich, president of the Israelite Central Committee of Uruguay, believes that the increase in neo-Nazi activity in his country is linked to the surge of similar activity in neighboring Argentina.

“Every time there is trouble over there, we suffer here,” he said.

Some 32,500 Jews live in Uruguay, and roughly 250,000 Jews live in Argentina.

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