Desecration spurs demands for crackdown


A citizens’ group is demanding a tough political response to the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in a southwestern German town.

Police in Ihringen said unknown perpetrators knocked more than 70 of the 200 gravestones at the Jewish Cemetery of Ihringen/Kaiserstuhl off their pedestals on Saturday night. Some stones were seriously damaged. Reportedly no graffiti was found.

A police spokesperson said there was no trace of the perpetrators but that right-wing extremists are suspected. The police have set up an eight-person special commission to investigate the incident.

A coalition of local citizens has demanded that the governor of the Sudbaden region, Sven von Ungern-Sternberg, call on state and federal agencies to support the investigation. The citizens also said unresolved cases of vandalism in the same cemetery from 1990 and 1991 should be reopened.

They said the vandalism could undermine years of reconciliation work and new ties with Jews who once lived in the area. A thorough and successful investigation would deter potential vandalism, they said.


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