Wolfisheim, France – Police say vandals have smashed or overturned 27 gravestones at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France.
The gendarme service of the Bas-Rhin region says the damage was discovered at the cemetery in Wolfisheim on Wednesday.
No other details were immediately available.
Jewish grave sites around France are attacked sporadically by vandals, who leave gravestones broken or sprayed with anti-Semitic slogans.
In 2004 vandals painted swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti on headstones at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France, an act that drew the swift condemnation of the government. During the last decade France has suffered a wave of violence against Jewish schools, synagogues and cemeteries that coincided with fighting in the Middle East. Many of the attacks have been blamed on young Muslims. France is home to western Europe’s largest Jewish and Muslim populations, and there are occasional attacks on their schools, cemeteries or places of worship.
Meanwhile, vandalism of Jewish graves is not uncommon in eastern European countries, among others Hungary, Romania and Siberia.
In 2008 up to 200 Jewish gravestones were desecrated in he Jewish community’s biggest cemetery in Bucharest, Hungary.
During the same year, neo-Nazi graffiti was scrawled on a German monument commemorating Jewish women and the thousands of concentration camp victims killed on forced marches during World War II.