News Brief

Vandals painted a swastika on a memorial dedicated to Jews deported from Berlin during the Nazi period.

Police said Wednesday that the memorial at the site of the former Jewish old age home on Grosse Hamburger Street in Berlin was defaced by unknown perpetrators. The graffiti has been removed. The site also was vandalized in September with anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on a plaque explaining the history of the Jewish cemetery there, and its use by the Nazis as a collection site for deportations. A week earlier, the memorial and Jewish cemetery had been reopened to the public after a $1.3 million renovation. Few gravestones remain at the site. Among those buried there was the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. In related news, police in Potsdam, near Berlin, were informed on Oct. 27 of a large swastika painted in the entrance to a commuter train tunnel. Earlier in October, unknown perpetrators painted a swastika on a “stumbling block” memorial, a bronze paving stone dedicated to the memory of Samuel Guttmann, a Jewish man deported from his home in Potsdam by the Nazis. There reportedly has been a rash of vandalism against such memorials in the former East German state of Brandenburg. Numerous cities in Germany, Austria, Hungary and Holland have adopted this memorial project, in which small bronze plaques are embedded in the pavement in front of the former homes of Jewish citizens.

NEXT STORY