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Vandals again attack Berlin cemetery

Vandals attacked Europe’s largest Jewish cemetery for a second time this week, Berlin police reported.

Some 20 gravestones and 10 stones from the surrounding wall were found overturned Wednesday in the Weissensee Cemetery in Berlin in what authorities suspect is a politically motivated crime. Numerous grave sites in another section of the cemetery had been found ravaged the previous day.

The case is being investigated by the State Office of Criminal Investigation.

Weissensee Cemetery, in the former East Berlin, was dedicated in 1880 and is still used by the Jewish community. It contains more than 115,000 graves. A national historical monument, it has been subject to vandalism in recent years.

Berlin politicians from across the spectrum described the latest incident as despicable. Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit told reporters Tuesday that it was “patently anti-Semitic.”

“We have to take on every form of anti-Semitism at its very beginnings,” Wowereit told German news agencies.

The vandalism has occurred as Berlin’s Jewish community prepares to inaugurate Wednesday its new “Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism,” which intends to bring together Jewish experts for the purposes of educating the public.

 

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