Swastika returns to Kiev Holocaust memorial


(JTA) — The monument commemorating Jewish victims of the Babi Yar massacre in Kiev was desecrated for the fourth time in recent months, possibly on Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

The perpetrators sprayed a swastika on the “Menorah” monument marking the slaughter of more than 33,000 Jews in 1941 by Nazi occupation forces and their collaborators, the news site evreiskiy.kiev.ua reported Thursday.

The desecration of the monument at Babi Yar, one of the largest single killing operations of the Holocaust, may have been timed to coincide with Hitler’s April 20 birthday, according to the report by the website, affiliated with a not-for-profit that monitors anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine.

The vandalism at the Menorah monument is the fourth targeting of the site in recent months. The last anti-Semitic incident there was documented on Jan. 27, International Holocaust Memorial Day. On that day, too, vandals daubed swastikas on the monument.

In 2014, the monument was targeted three more times. Evreiskiy.kiev.ua criticized authorities for not doing enough to find the culprits.

“The CCTV cameras behind the monument are still there,” the organization wrote in a statement, “yet police were not able even once to identify the culprits or punish them.”

Ukraine, where anti-Semitic incidents are less prevalent than in some Western European states, has seen an increase in such cases in the wake of its 2013 revolution.

The revolution resulted in fighting between pro-Russian separatists and government troops, as well as Ukrainian nationalists. Both sides have blamed one another for encouraging anti-Semitism.

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