Anti-Semitic vandalism strikes Jewish sites in France, Greece and Ukraine

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V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

In Trikala, one of Greece’s oldest Jewish communities, a monument to Holocaust victims was vandalized, and the city’s synagogue exterior was defaced with slogans, including “Jewish snakes out.”

(January 7, 2020 / JNS) Anti-Jewish vandalism has struck France, Greece and Ukraine within the past week.

About a dozen graves were vandalized in the Jewish cemetery of Bayonne, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques area, in southwest France.

The damage was sighted by Déborah Loupien-Suares, president of the Jewish community in Biarritz and Bayonne, while visiting her grandparents’ graves. She told local media that while several gravestones were smashed and broken, there was no anti-Semitic graffiti at the scene.

Loupien-Suares told the French daily Le Parisien that she would file a complaint with local police on Tuesday.Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories

At Kharkiv’s V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine, the dorm of a Jewish student, identified only as “Vladislav,” was vandalized with anti-Semitic etchings, including “Ave Satan,” swastikas and far-right symbols on a wall. Vladislav’s Bible was stolen by the perpetrators, reported the website jewishnews.com.ua.

The United Jewish Community of Ukraine, one of several umbrella Jewish community groups, reportedly filed a criminal complaint with law enforcement.

Finally, in the northern Greek city of Trikala—once one of the country’s oldest Jewish communities—a monument to Holocaust victims was vandalized, and the outside of the city’s synagogue was defaced with slogans, including “Jewish snakes out.”

The Star of David was stolen from the monument, whose surrounding fencing was torn down.

The monument was vandalized twice in 2019.

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