Jewish cemetery desecrated in Kosovo capital

(JTA) — Kosovo police are investigating the vandalism of dozens of tombstones in a restored Jewish cemetery in the Balkan nation’s capital.

Dozens of swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were spray-painted Tuesday on the tombstones in the Pristina cemetery, The Associated Press reported. The cemetery in Kosovo’s largest city had been restored in July by American students from Datrmouth College and Kosovan students from American University in Kosovo.

Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci condemned the act as "cowardly,"

"The damaging of cemeteries presents an act in complete contradiction with the traditions and values of the people of Kosovo, based on tolerance and full respect for all the dead and all the monuments," Jahjaga said in a statement.

More than 300 Kosovan Jews died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp during World War II. The remaining Jewish population shrunk during the war, with the last remaining Jews leaving for Israel and Serbia during the 1998-99 Kosovo war.

Police spokesman told the AP on Thursday that the cemetery was closed during the investigations.

 

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