Historic former French synagogue burns down


(JTA) — A historic building that once housed a synagogue burned down in northeastern France.

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the fire last week in the town of Maizières-lès-Vic inside the 19th-century building, which was consumed by flames, the news website www.republicain-lorrain.fr reported.

The building was used by a local poultry farmer and has not functioned as a synagogue in decades, according to the report.

Police are not ruling out arson, as the building had no electrical wires that could have started a fire accidentally, according to Mayor Alain Guise.

“The synagogue had no electrical feed and it didn’t burn itself down,” he said.

France’s main union of Jewish students, the UEJF, published a statement condemning any individuals who may have started the fire.

“UEJF deplores the destruction of a synagogue that, even though it no longer welcomes worshipers, was a symbol of Jewish presence of almost a thousand years” in the region, the statement read.

An unnamed police source who spoke to the French news agency AFP on Monday warned against jumping to conclusions with regard to the fire.

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