Nazi memorabilia collector convicted of desecrating graves


(JTA) — A Nazi memorabilia collector was found guilty of desecrating Jewish graves with swastikas in a Chicago cemetery.

Mariusz Wdziekonski, 25, was convicted last Friday by a Cook County jury of desecrating 67 graves with swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti in January 2008.

Police officers testified that Wdziekonski, who immigrated to the United States from Poland, admitted to the vandalism. Wdziekonski said he admitted to collecting Nazi memorabilia but denied the vandalism during the 2 1/2-day trial, saying he was visiting a friend at the time of the vandalism.

He faces three to seven years in jail, but could get out for time served.

"The Sheriff’s Department deserves high praise for its handling of this deplorable anti-Semitic incident, which is a hate crime against the entire community," said Lonnie Nasatir, the Anti-Defamation League’s Chicago Regional director. "The Sheriff’s Office took the graffiti seriously from the moment it was discovered."


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