Extremists target Lithuanian synagogue

Lithuanian Jews have expressed their shock after vandals left a pig’s head with a star of David carved on it outside a synagogue in the city of Kaunas.

Community leaders said they believed it was left there by a neo-Nazi organisation.

The head, discovered on Shabbat, was left under a black Hasidic hat with peyot (sidelocks) attached to it. Police said they have launched a formal investigation but do not yet have any suspects.

The synagogue, which dates back to the 1870s, is still in use although Kaunas’s Jewish population has fallen to less than 500 people.

In a statement the leaders of the country’s Jewish community called it “Nazi provocation aimed at insulting the ethnic and religious feelings of Lithuanian Jews".

One said: “We want to know who did it and why. We are not in conflict with anyone.”

In July a firecracker was left outside of a synagogue in the city of Malmo in Sweden, just days after vandals daubed red swastikas on the walls of Greece’s Jewish Museum.

Last updated: 10:25am, August 27 2010