Romanian police nab suspect in anti-Semitic vandalism of Elie Wiesel’s home
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Romanian police nab suspect in anti-Semitic vandalism of Elie Wiesel’s home

Elie Wiesel’s childhood home in Sighet, Romania was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti on August 3, 2018. (Screenshot via Realitatea.net)

(JTA) — Romanian police arrested a 37-year-old man whom they suspect wrote anti-Semitic slogans on the childhood home of Elie Wiesel.

The man, whose name police did not release, is believed to have written in fluorescent pink graffiti the words “public toilet” and “Nazi Jew lying in hell with Hitler” as well as “Anti-Semite pedophile.”The Memorial House Elie Wiesel is in Sighet in eastern Romania.

Wiesel died in 2016 at the age of 87. A Nobel peace prize laureate for his body of work on activism on behalf of fellow Holocaust survivors and those who were killed, he was honored last year by locals in his hometown. They marched from the museum, which was built where Wiesel was born and grew up, to the train station where in 1944 he and his family boarded a train to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.

The suspect was arrested last week for the vandalism, which was discovered on Aug. 4, the news site digi24 last week reported.

The arrest “comes as a relief,” said Chaim Chesler, co-founder of Limmud FSU. Chesler’s group, which organizes cultural events for Jews across the former Soviet Union and other places where many Russian-speaking Jews live, was responsible for the 2016 memorial march for Wiesel in Sighet.

The graffiti incident “caused pain and outrage all over the world but it is reassuring to see that justice is being served,” Chesler added.