Vandals topple French memorial to synagogue destroyed by Nazis


(JTA) — French police have launched an investigation into the toppling of a memorial stone placed at the site of a French synagogue destroyed by the Nazis.

The memorial to Strasbourg’s Old Synagogue, located next to the Avenue of the Righteous honoring non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, was vandalized overnight on Saturday. French police said they would view surveillance video and seek witnesses. It would have taken more than one person to move the heavy stone.

The incident comes two weeks after nearly 100 gravestones were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in the same area.

Several French leaders took to social media to condemn the weekend attack.

“Once again, enough is enough,” Mayor Roland Ries wrote on Facebook. “The site is itself a response to whoever did this repulsive act because it symbolizes both the exactions and horrors of the Nazi regime and the French people’s power of resistance,” he also wrote. Ries visited the site on Saturday.

Strasbourg’s Deputy Mayor Alain Fontanel on Facebook called it “a new anti-Semitic incident in our city, and we are doing all we can to find those responsible and bring them to trial.”

The synagogue was built in 1898 and was destroyed by Hitler Youth on September 30, 1940.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the vandalism “another shocking anti-Semitic attack.”

“I strongly condemn all manifestations of anti-Semitism, and I call upon all leaders of enlightened countries to join in the systematic and continuous denunciation of anti-Semitism. The first way to fight antisemitism is to denounce and condemn it,” he said.

Recommended from JTA