Jewish memorial in Strasbourg vandalised

A memorial stone at the site of Strasbourg's old synagogue has been vandalised, the deputy mayor of the eastern French city says.

Alain Fontanel tweeted a picture of the marble slab after it was knocked off its plinth, calling the attack a "new act of anti-Semitism in our city", as reported by Reuters.

The memorial stands at the site of the synagogue, which was burned down by the Nazis in September 1940. It lies next to the Avenue of the Righteous, dedicated to non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Last month dozens of graves were desecrated at a nearby Jewish cemetery.

Swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were spray-painted on the graves. President Emmanuel Macron visited the cemetery in Quatzenheim, about 20km (12 miles) east of Strasbourg. 

He expressed his "total determination to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms".

After the latest incident in Strasbourg, Mr Fontanel said: "Sadly, history repeats itself." He said city officials and police were doing everything possible to catch the attackers.

France has the biggest Jewish community in Europe, estimated at around 550,000 people. 

Statistics published last month showed a rise of 74% in the number of anti-Semitic attacks in France, from 311 in 2017 to 541 in 2018. 

Several high-profile recent incidents have brought the issue into focus. In one instance, a Jewish bakery in central Paris had the German word for Jews ("Juden") spray-painted on its window. 

Also last month, police also stepped in to protect the philosopher, Alain Finkielkraut, after he was bombarded with anti-Jewish taunts by a group of "yellow vest" protesters in Paris.

Jewish groups have also been warning that a rising far right across Europe has been promoting anti-Semitism and hatred of other minorities.

Crime data from Germany released last week revealed that anti-Semitic offences had increased by 10% over the past year - including a 60% rise in physical attacks.

Attacks have been blamed on both the far right and Islamists.

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Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright

Gary Cartwright is publishing editor of EU Today. 

An experienced journalist and published author, he specialises in environment, energy, and defence.

He also has more than 10 years experience of working as a staff member in the EU institutions, working with political groups and MEPs in various policy areas.

Gary's latest book WANTED MAN: THE STORY OF MUKHTAR ABLYAZOV: A Manual for Criminals on How to Avoid Punishment in the EU is currently available from Amazon 

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