French cemetary vanadalised by neo-Nazis

Dozens of Jewish graves were found desecrated in a French cemetery on Holocaust Memorial Day.

At least 30 headstones in Strasbourg were daubed with antisemitic graffiti. Swastikas were painted on 18 graves, and 13 were overturned. The phrase “Juden Raus” [Jews Out] was written on one grave.

The umbrella group Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF), which represents the French Jewish community and tackles antisemitism, said it was not clear whether the incident was linked to the memorial day.

But Laurent Schmoll, president of Strasbourg’s 1,000-member Jewish community, said he believed the perpetrators had intentionally carried out the attack to mark the anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation.

The cemetery, in Cronenbourg, is not protected by CCTV cameras and local police said it was unclear when the graves were damaged.

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux pledged to find those responsible and punish them “to the full extent of the law”.

Last updated: 4:40pm, January 28 2010