Hundreds of graves vandalized in Jewish cemetery in northeastern France


(JTA) — Several hundred graves were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in northeastern France.

Gravestones were toppled and broken in the Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union, located in the Bas-Rhin region in Alsace, the French Jewish news website JSSnews reported Sunday.

No bodies were dug up in the cemetery, which is still in use, according to JSSnews. The vandalism was the work of more than one person, Philippe Richert, president of the Regional Council of Alsace, told the news website.

“The cemetery contains 400 graves and about half were desecrated,” Sarre-Union Mayor Marc Senna, told JSSnews.

“The country will not tolerate this new injury which goes against the values that all French people share,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told the French news agency AFP. “Every effort will be made to identify, question and bring to justice the person or persons responsible for this ignominious act.”

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, in a tweet, called the vandalism “a vile, anti-Semitic act, an insult to the memory” of the dead. He vowed to find those responsible.

The Jewish cemetery in Sarre-Union has been attacked in the past. In 1988, 60 Jewish headstones were overturned, and in 2001, 54 graves were vandalized.

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